Joshua Komisarjevsky's Death Sentence Gives Massacre Survivor Peace


Joshua Komisarjevsky Joins 10 Others on Connecticut's Death Row

At the beginning of the trial, Bansley warned the jury that they would likely hear testimony that would "break your hearts." And the testimony was heartbreaking.

In gruesome detail, the jury heard how Komisarjevsky and Hayes beat Dr. Petit about the head with a baseball bat and then tied him up bloodied and bruised. The jury learned how the two daughters Hayley and Michaela were tied to their beds for hours and terrorized. Komisarjevsky admitted to sexually molesting Michaela and taking half-naked pictures of the child as she was tied up.

There was also testimony about how Hayes raped and strangled the girls' mother. And then how gasoline was poured in the Petit family home, including on the girl's beds as they lay tied up before setting the house on fire. A medical examiner testified that because of the extent of the fire damage, dental records had to be used to identify Hawke-Petit's body. Experts described how the young girls likely survived for agonizing minutes only to succumb to the poison of smoke inhalation.

Only the father survived. Brutally beaten and left bound in the basement he managed to escape to a neighbor's house. As he did in Hayes' trial, Petit sat in the first row every day and endured the often difficult testimony.

As the horrific events of that night spiraled out of control, Bansley said Komisarjevsky was helpless to stop them because his decision-making skills had been impaired by his years of abuse and neglect.

Ironically, during Hayes' trial last year, defense attorney Thomas Ullmann claimed that Komisarjevsky was the true mastermind behind the home invasion.

Komisarjevsky will now head to the Northern Correctional Institution in Somers, Connecticut. This level five maximum security institution houses Connecticut's death row.

Only one individual has been executed in Connecticut since the death penalty was reinstated in 1976. That execution occurred in 2005 and was of serial killer Michael Ross, also known as the Roadside Strangler.

Komisarjevsky will now join 10 other inmates on death row including his accomplice Steven Hayes.

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