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The prosecution wrapped up its case against accused killer Joshua Komisarjevsky Monday afternoon after attempting to discredit the defense's assertion that their client was not responsible for the fire that killed two of the three Cheshire women murdered during the 2007 home invasion.
One of the last witnesses called by the state on Monday was Jack Hubball, a chemical analyst for the state forensics lab, who testified as to the results of tests conducted on Komisarjevsky's clothing worn the night of the murders. Komisarjevsky is charged with several crimes stemming from the July 23, 2007 home invasion in Cheshire, including the murder of Jennifer Hawke-Petit and her two daughters, Hayley, 17, and Michaela, 11. While Hawke-Petit was strangled to death by Komisarjevsky's accomplice in the crime, Steven Hayes, the two daughters both died of smoke inhalation after the house was set on fire. Komisarjevsky and Hayes were apprehended fleeing the scene in the family's SUV.
Since being taken into custody by police, Komisarjevsky has admitted to beating Dr. William Petit, the sole survivor of the attack, with a baseball bat and being a part of the scheme to extort $15,000 from the family, but has denied that he had any role in the deaths of the three women and has insisted that Hayes was the one intent on murder.
However, on Monday Hubball testified that residue found on Komisarjevsky's pants, shirt, and shoes were "consistent with" gasoline. That, according to the prosecution, suggests that, rather than being an unwilling bystander as Hayes allegedly poured gasoline around the house as the two daughters lay tied to their beds upstairs, that Komisarjevsky may have been assisting in that activity.
However, the defense, during cross examination, pressed Hubball on whether he could pin point where the gasoline was found on Komisarjevsky's shoes, and Hubball admitted that he was not sure of the exact location and that it may have only been located on the soles. The defense also pointed out that Komisarjevsky was in construction, and insinuated that the gasoline found on his clothing may have been from that work. Hubball again was forced to admit that he could not tell from where the gasoline had originated.
The jury is not scheduled to report back to the courthouse until Wednesday, when it is believed that the defense will begin to present their case. Judge Jon Blue suggested that the jury could begin deliberations as soon as next Tuesday.
For more on this story, check back with The Cheshire Herald website for all updates, and to see the full story of the week's testimony, pick up a copy of The Herald this Thursday.