Skip to main content

Death sentence in Connecticut home invasion

From Brian Vitagliano, CNN
updated 2:52 PM EST, Fri January 27, 2012
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • A judge sentences Joshua Komisarjevsky to death
  • The 12-member jury voted for death by lethal injection on each of the six counts
  • Another man also has been sentenced to death in the case
  • A jury convicted Komisarjevsky in October on six felony charges

New Haven, Connecticut (CNN) -- A judge in New Haven sentenced a 31-year-old man to death Friday for his role in a deadly home invasion that killed a woman and her two daughters in 2007.

Jurors convicted Joshua Komisarjevsky in October on six capital felony charges. The 12-member jury had recommended death by lethal injection on each of the counts.

"The task of sentencing another human being to death is the most sober and somber experience a judge can have," said Superior Court Judge Jon Blue.

Komisarjevsky responded Friday, saying that he "came into this trial angry and defiant."

Komisarjevsky jurors share thoughts
Petit family hopes for speedy execution
Komisarjevsky family accepts decision

It's a "surreal experience to be condemned to die," he said. "Our apathetic pursuits trampled the innocent."

He said, "I did not rape. I did not pour that gas or light that fire."

"I will never find peace again and my soul is torn," Komisarjevsky added.

The family of his victims left the courtroom before Komisarjevsky spoke.

Richard Hawke, in a victim's statement prior to the sentencing, said the killings of his daughter and granddaughters had left him "half-past dead."

"They offered to give you everything you asked for, you didn't have to take their lives," he told Komisarjevsky. "You will from now on be known as a prison number in the book of death. You are now in God's hands."

The man convicted of being Komisarjevsky's accomplice, Steven Hayes, was sentenced to death in 2010. Juries convicted the pair on charges that they beat and tied up Dr. William Petit Jr., raped and strangled his wife, molested one of their daughters and set the house on fire before trying to flee.

Petit is the sole survivor of the attack that killed his wife and two daughters.

"I lost my family and my home," said Petit. "My wife, my friend, my partner. I miss our late night chats and our partnership in raising the girls."

Before assaulting and killing Jennifer Hawke-Petit, Hayes forced her to go to a bank and withdraw $15,000 from an account after finding evidence that the account held between $20,000 and $30,000, authorities said.

The two daughters, who were both tied to their beds, died of smoke inhalation, while William Petit managed to escape from the basement, where he had been held.

Hayes had been charged with third-degree burglary in 2003 and sentenced to five years in prison. He was released three years later to a halfway house, where he met Komisarjevsky.

Komisarjevsky's attorneys had asked for leniency, arguing that he had no prior history of violence, was abused as a child and had been committed to a mental hospital for depression.

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT