Home > Crime > Petit Family Murder Trial To Begin and Joran van der Sloot Charges

Petit Family Murder Trial To Begin and Joran van der Sloot Charges


Petit Murders…

Joshua Komisarjevsky’s trial starts Monday in New Haven Superior Court.  He faces a possible death sentence if convicted. His co-defendant, Steven Hayes, was sentenced to death last year.

In July 2007, the pair broke into the home in Cheshire, CT, beat Dr. William Petit with a baseball bat and tied up his wife, Jennifer Hawke-Petit, and daughters, 11-year-old Michaela and 17-year-old Hayley,

Jennifer Hawke-Petit was raped and strangled, her daughters had pillowcases placed over their heads, were tied to their beds and died of smoke inhalation after the house was doused with gas and set ablaze.

Komisarjevsky is also accused of sexually assaulting Michaela Petit.

As he did at Hayes’ trial, Dr. William Petit, the sole survivor, is expected to testify.

At the Hayes trial, distraught jurors were shown autopsy pictures of the victims, photos of the girls’ charred beds, rope, ripped clothing and ransacked rooms that were so gruesome, the state took the unusual step of offering jurors counseling after some complained of nightmares.

van der Sloot Charges…

More than a year after the brutal death of Stephany Flores, Peruvian officials formally charged Joran van der Sloot with murder and theft charges on September 1.

Prosecutors are seeking a 30-year sentence as well as restitution to the family in the amount of $73,000.

van der Sloot’s attorneys argue 30 years is too stiff a sentence because it was an isolated incident.

During the first hearing following the charges, the Public Prosecutor was ordered to reconsider the charges after the Flores family lawyer complained the charges should not be ‘murder followed by robbery’ but ‘robbery followed by murder’.  Charged correctly, it would carry a life sentence.

The trial is not expected to begin until next year, however van der Sloot will have been held for the maximum 18 months allowed under Peruvian law.  In December, he could be released from prison to await trial.  The Public Prosecutor can request an extension of his detention.



Meridien Record Journal

Washington Post

van der Sloot


NY Daily News


  1. mmc
    09/18/2011 at 6:37 pm

    Thanks for posting these updates!

  2. donchais
    09/18/2011 at 9:23 pm

    More than welcome!

  3. ritanita
    09/19/2011 at 6:54 am

    My heart goes out to Dr. Petit. This is the second time he will have to sit through an excrutiating trial. I hope Komisarjevsky’s jury gives him the same verdict as did Hayes’.

    As for Joran van der Sloot, I do hope they change the wording in the charges. I’m amazed it makes such a huge difference in the sentencing. I’m sending my good vibes to the three judges who will hear the case and decide the verdict.

    Right now, he seems to be living high off the hog in prison with enough money to have a great deal of influence. I want him there long enough for the well to run dry and see him live the life of a normal prisoner. Deep down, he is the ultimate coward.

  4. 09/21/2011 at 10:38 pm

    I have been following the Petit case from the beginning. My heart is saddened for this man who endured this tragic. I can’t imagine going through all that he did. He is full of Grace. Outstanding. And I so admire him. I guess I am a pretty weak person. Or so I think because I am not in that room. And it’s hard for me to forget it.
    I pray these men pay for what they have done. Why oh Why didn’t they just take the damn money and leave. Lord!

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