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Testimony Continues After Autopsy Results For Hayley Petit Presented

September 27, 2011 by John Rook

It was another difficult day of testimony in the trial of Joshua Komisarjevsky Monday as a state medical examiner presented autopsy results for Hayley Petit.
The day began with the defense team for Komisarjevsky finishing up cross examination of Cheshire Police Detective Joe Vitello, who questioned Komisarjevsky after he was apprehended fleeing the Petit house on July 23, 2007. Komisarjevsky is accused of murdering Jennifer Hawke-Petit and her two daughters, Hayley, 17, and Michaela, 11, after a home invasion and attempted extortion plot went wrong. Komisarjevsky and accomplice Steven Hayes are alleged to have set fire to the home while the daughters were tied to their beds inside. Hawke-Petit was raped and strangled to death by Hayes beforehand.
After Vitello stepped down, the prosecution called Dr. Malka Shah, associate state medical examiner, to speak about the autopsy results for Hayley Petit. In graphic detail, Shah stated that Hayley Petit had died from smoke inhalation, and that death would have come in a matter of minutes after the fire had started.
Hayley Petit's body was found in the hallway of the upstairs portion of the house. She was evidently able to free herself from her bed and make it out of her room before succumbing to the smoke inhalation. Photos of Hayley Petit's badly-burned body were shown to the jury, and Shah stated that it was unclear whether the teenage girl had experienced any burns while still alive.
Testimony is scheduled to resume this morning.
Check back here daily for updates on the trial, and see the full story on the second week of testimony in Thursday's Cheshire Herald.

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