Petit Trial Testimony: Suspects Snapped Photos During Sex Assaults

Tech expert testified about cell phone pictures depicting assaults

ByABC News
September 13, 2010, 4:59 PM

NEW HAVEN, Conn. Sept. 23, 2010 — -- The two ex-cons accused of torturing a Connecticut family during a brutal home invasion snapped pictures as they sexually assaulted two of their alleged victims, according to testimony heard in court today.

In what has become a continuously heartbreaking and graphic murder trial, computer and technology expert John Farnham was shown eight pictures off Joshua Komisarjevsky's cell phone, taken while he and defendant Steven Hayes allegedly brutalized and killed Dr. Jennifer Hawke-Petit and her two daughters, Hayley, 17, and Michaela, 11.

The jury was spared the shocking images, but Farnham was asked to describe each one. In two, he said, Komisarjevsky -- who will face trial after Hayes -- was photographed nude and posing suggestively. Five showed a young female with her arms tied above her head, with a cloth over her face and a close up of her underwear.

The eighth photo was of an older female, her legs splayed.

Dr. William Petit, the lone survivor of the July 2007 home invasion, was visibly upset during Farnham's testimony, but remain composed, occasionally gripping a courtroom railing.

Petit walked out of the courtroom Wednesday after listening to a detective recount Hayes' alleged confession of the crime. He also skipped the medical examiner's testimony, which continued into today and included details of the rape of his 11-year-old daughter.

Medical Examiner Wayne Carver testified today that Hayley was found laying face down in the hallway, but that the front of her clothing was more severely burned than the back, indicated she'd been directly exposed to fire. She died from smoke inhalation.

He speculated that she had managed to free herself after being tied to her bed and made her way down the hallway and that Michaela had likely died a painful death.

The courtroom also heard testimony today regarding a series of text messages that Hayes and Komisarjevsky sent back and forth before allegedly heading out around 3 a.m. to the Petit home, where Komisarjevsky had followed Hawke-Petit from a grocery store.

"I'm chomping at the bit to get started," Hayes wrote to Komisarjevsky at 7:45 p.m. the previous night. "Need a margarita soon."

And then, between 8:45 p.m. and 9:20 p.m., the following exchange:

"We still on?" Hayes sent to Komisarjevsky.

"Yes," Komisarjevsky replied.

"Soon?" Hayes wrote back.

"I'm putting kid to bed," Komisarjevsky then wrote to Hayes. "Hold your horses."

"Dude the horses want to get loose," Hayes replied. "Lol."