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State Senator's Intemperate Comment Roils Komisarjevsky Case

Cheshire defendant's lawyers request a three-month trial delay because they say legislator's comment might influence jurors during jury selection.

Defense lawyers for Joshua Komisarjevsky have condemned the comment by a state senator that the reviled Cheshire home invasion defendant should be "hanged by his penis" without a trial.

The New Haven Register reported that special public defender Jeremiah Donovan asked Judge Jon C. Blue today to delay the trial three months because the inflammatory comment by state Sen. Edith Prague, D-Columbia, might influence jurors.

The Register said Donovan would make a formal motion for a trial delay on Monday.

Walter C. Bansley III, another appointed special public defender, sent an angry email calling Prague’s comment "incomprehensible and patently crude."

Prague’s comment was originally reported Wednesday afternoon on the CT News Junkie website.

Jury selection is underway for the Komisarjevsky trial. No jurors were selected Wednesday or Thursday, but both sides used peremptory challenges to excuse jurors without cause.

It was the second day Prague made news related to Komisarjevsky, the second defendant in the Cheshire triple homicide case. On Wednesday, she swung her vote against repealing Connecticut’s death penalty after meeting with Dr. William Petit, the husband and father of the victims.

Komisarjevsky faces the death penalty for the deaths of Jennifer Hawke-Petit and her daughters, Hayley, 17, and Michaela, 11, in 2007. Hawke-Petit and Michaela were sexually assaulted during the home invasion, kidnapping and robbery ordeal. Dr. Petit was badly beaten and tied up, authorities said, but escaped just before the house was allegedly set on fire by Komisarjevsky and Steven Hayes, the co-defendant in the case.

The case has generated extremely strong, negative opinions toward Komisarjevsky and Hayes, who was convicted in a separate trial last year and sentenced to the death penalty.

Stephan Johanson March 06, 2012 at 03:02 AM
People are getting mad about a comment made after what these guys did to members of my family! These guys deserve to die a slow painful death! Let something like that happen to your family, then see what kind of comments you have!

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