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Jury condemns Joshua Komisarjevsky to death for Conn. home invasion murders

Joshua Komisarjevsky WSFB

Joshua Komisarjevsky
WFSB

(CBS/AP) NEW HAVEN, Conn. - The man convicted of killing a woman and her two daughters in a 2007 home invasion has been sentenced to death.

Pictures: Petit family murders

The jury deliberated for five days before returning the verdict against Joshua Komisarjevsky (koh-mih-sar-JEV'-skee). His accomplice, Steven Hayes, is already on death row for the murders in the affluent suburb of Cheshire. On Wednesday, the jury sent a note to the judge indicating they were having trouble weighing Komisarjevsky's role in the crime against Hayes.

The two men were convicted of killing Jennifer Hawke-Petit and her daughters, ages 17 and 11. The two girls were tied to their beds and left to die in a fire authorities say the men set after dousing the house with gas. The father, Dr. William Petit, was the sole survivor of the night's massacre.

The defense asked jurors to spare Komisarjevsky's life, arguing that his ultra-religious family never got him proper help after he was sexually abused as a child by his foster brother.

The crime led to the defeat of a bill to abolish the death penalty in Connecticut and sparked tougher state laws for repeat offenders and home invasions.

Complete coverage of the Petit family murders on Crimesider

  • Crimesider Staff

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