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Closing arguments are scheduled for Friday morning in the life or death trial of convicted killer Joshua Komisarjevsky.
Both the defense and prosecution rested their cases on Tuesday afternoon, and the Judge has given the jury Wednesday and Thursday off to hear legal motions. The closing arguments, where each side has been given two hours to speak, will encompass much of the day Friday. The jury is expected to be handed the case on Monday morning to begin deliberating if Komisarjevsky should be sentenced to death, or spend the rest of his life in prison without the possibility of release.
Tuesday marked Day 20 of testimony during the penalty phase of the trial. Komisarjevsky was previously found guilty of all 17 charges against him in October for his role in the Cheshire Home Invasion. He was convicted of murdering Jennifer Hawke-Petit, and her children, Hayley, 17, and Michaela, 11. Dr. William Petit was beaten, but survived the home invasion. Komisarjevsky was found guilty of capitol felony charges, so a separate penalty phase was held over the last few weeks. During this time, his defense attorneys have tried to convince the jury that Komisarjevsky should not be executed because of mitigating factors, such as untreated medical disorders and childhood sexual abuse. The state is seeking the death penalty. His accomplice, Steven Hayes, was found guilty and sentenced to death last year.
Over the last week, jurors heard testimony from Komisarjevsky’s 9-year-old daughter, an ex-girlfriend from 15 years ago, and a Cheshire Police Detective. Read what occurred over the last week in the trial in tomorrow’s Cheshire Herald.