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Closing arguments are expected today in the trial of accused killer Joshua Komisarjevsky, but not before Judge Jon Blue considers one more motion from the defense.
On Friday, Oct. 7, attorneys for Komisarjevsky asked that the court bar state prosecutors from making statements during closing arguments that they feel would run in contrast to those made during closing arguments in the trial of Steven Hayes, Komisarjevsky's accomplice, who was convicted last year on many of the same charges now facing Komisarjevsky, and was eventually sentenced to death.
In the motion, Komisarjevsky's lawyers pointed out that the prosecution disputed Hayes' claim that Komisarjevsky had pushed Hayes to rape and strangle Jennifer Hawke-Petit during closing arguments last fall, and that they also sought to blame Hayes for pouring gasoline around the home before ultimately lighting the match. It would be disingenuous for the prosecution to now argue otherwise while trying to convict Komisarjevsky, the defense claimed in the motion, stating that to do so would be an attempt "bamboozle" the jury.
Komisarjevsky is accused of taking part in a home invasion with Steve Hayes in July 2007, beating Dr, WIlliam Petit, the sole survivor of the attack on his family, with a baseball bat, taking Hawke-Petit and her daughters, Hayley, 17, and Michaela, 11, hostage in an attempt to extort money from them, sexually assaulting Michaela Petit, and then spreading gasoline throughout the house and eventually lighting it on fire. Hayley and Michaela Petit both died of smoke inhalation as a result of the fire, while Hawke-Petit had been raped and killed by Hayes before the fire began.
After closing arguments, the jury will begin deliberations. If Komisarjevsky is found guilty, the trial will then move into the penalty phase, where the jury will decide if Komisarjevsky is to be sentenced to death. It is believed that the penalty phase of the trial could last well over a month.
For more on the trial, continue to check back to this website, and for the full story on closing arguments, see this Thursday's Cheshire Herald.