Steven Hayes and Joshua Komisarjevsky first crossed paths at a Hartford, Connecticut, drug treatment center in the summer of 2006, according to police.
Both men, career criminals, had been in and out of jail for similar non-violent crimes. Twice they had overlapping stays at the same halfway house or drug center, and the two attended Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous meetings together and became friends, according to a detective’s report.
They shared similar interests — often the downfall that led them into the criminal justice system — but nobody knew at the time that their friendship would result in what police and prosecutors say was one of the most brutal crimes in memory in the prosperous town of Cheshire, Connecticut.
Connecticut killer sentenced to die for “unimaginable horror”
|Jennifer Hawke-Petit, 48, and her daughters Hayley Petit, 17, and Michaela Petit, 11
Mary Ellen GodinReuters2:14 p.m. CST, January 27, 2012
NEW HAVEN, Connecticut (Reuters) – A judge ordered Joshua Komisarjevsky to be executed this summer for the 2007 murders of a mother and her two daughters during a brutal home invasion in Connecticut, saying on Friday that he committed a crime of “unimaginable horror.”Judge Jon Blue told Komisarjevsky, 31, that he alone was to blame for his new address on death row after the triple murders of Jennifer Hawke-Petit, 48, and her daughters Hayley Petit, 17, and Michaela Petit, 11, and beating of husband and father Dr. William Petit Jr.”This is a terrible sentence but one you have written for yourself,” Blue told Komisarjevsky in New Haven Superior Court.”Your crime was one of unimaginable horror and sadness,” the judge said. “Your fate is now in the hands of others. May God have mercy on your soul.”He set an execution date of July 20 pending an appeal, which could drag out the matter for years.Before the judge spoke, Komisarjevsky, dressed in an orange jumpsuit, denied he killed or raped anyone and blamed “the hurt I caused” on being a victim himself of sex abuse as a child, drug addiction, and his accomplice Steven Hayes, 48, already sentenced to death row.Hawke-Petit was strangled and the girls died of smoke inhalation after the home was set afire. Hawke-Petit was raped and Michaela Petit was sexually assaulted.Dr. Petit, who had been tied up and beaten unconscious, escaped as the home went up in flames.
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.”
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.
Photos of Petit Crime Scene-