Home > Crime > Petit Family Murders – Penalty Phase, Week One

Petit Family Murders – Penalty Phase, Week One

10/29/2011

This article began as a recap of what happened in court this week and it just snowballed (which is kinda funny because we are having a pretty big snow event here on the east coast) and took on a life of its own.

I have to preface this with; there are no cameras in court so we are relying strictly on MSM reports which oft-times are conflicting in nature.  I also want to stress that much of this is based on MHO as well as my deductive skills which may or may not be skewed!  Just too many things have left me scratching my head.  So, here goes, in no particular order!

I am no fan of defense attorney Jeremiah Donovan.  I find his methods of ‘coloring the truth’, attacking the victims and the sole survivor of the brutal home invasion, Dr. William Petit, and attempts to provoke the rest of the family just beyond the pale and despicable.

His latest foray into the realm of bad taste is the subpoena he issued to Komisarjevsky’s 9-year old daughter, Jayda.  Jayda currently lives with her mother’s relatives who have retained attorney Justine Rakich-Kelly to represent her.  See Hartford Curant.

Judge Jon Blue said he would be considering a motion to seal the courtroom as well as a motion to quash a subpoena.  Blue, in closed court, may hear testimony from a mental health expert who is familiar with the girl’s psychological condition. The arguments that follow will dictate if the judge determine whether to quash the subpoena.

Why in God’s name would you subject a 9-year old to that trauma and torture and for what?

She was born in 2002 after Komisarjevsky was imprisoned for his 19 other home invasions.  Komisarjevsky was released (more on that in a bit) in April 2007 and back behind bars in July 2007 after the Petit murders and has remained there since.

What’s she going to say?  My daddy is a good, kind, loving man…please spare his life???

Onto the next conundrum…

I have long struggled with the claim of Komisarjevsky’s being sexually abused as a child.  Something has never sat quite right with me about it.  Maybe it’s because we already know what a liar he is…how it was all Hayes’ fault, how he didn’t pour any gasoline at the scene, how he didn’t sexually assault young Michaela.

We know that Donovan uses a history of drug abuse, concussions and sexual abuse at the hands of a foster child in the home as the reasons Komisarjevsky committed his heinous acts.  In fact, if Donovan refers to Komisarjevsky as a ‘damaged lad’ one more time, I’ll hurl!

The defense says Komisarjevsky, himself, was molested when he was a young child by a foster teen that they took into the home.   Note, most MSM refer to it as ‘alleged molestation’.

Donovan told jurors that when Komisarjevsky was about 4, his parents took in the foster child, 15-year old Scott who sexually abused him and another foster child in the house for three years, Donovan said.  “He was big, brutal, nasty, mean,” Donovan said.  See Seattle PI.

Neuropsychologist, Dr. Leo Shea III, testified Komisarjevsky told him, “My earliest memories were of anal sex, oral sex, cigarette burns, etc.”

So, I got to thinking that this sounded way too familiar and where is it coming from?  I went back to the 2002 Sentencing Hearing and sure enough the abuse claim was there on page 25, lines 20 though 25.

So I ask, was this just another fantastical story Komisarjevsky wove for leniency during a police interview or while cooling his heels in prison?  I have found nothing, anywhere, which supports the events were true.

But wait, it gets murkier based on testimony this week from Komisarjevsky’s adoptive parents, Ben and Jude.

Jude testified, she heard “a crashing noise” and saw (another foster child) Beverly running down the stairs, yelling that Scott had tried to sexually assault her. Jude Komisarjevsky — who told jurors that she had been a victim of sexual abuse by a foster sibling when she was growing up — said she and her husband asked Joshua if he also had been molested by Scott.

“We asked Josh several times, he said no, we just don’t know.   See Hartford Currant.

She also testified  Komisarjevsky’s younger sister came forward claiming  Joshua had sexually abused her. This followed earlier revelations that Scott had sexually assaulted her as well.

Testimony from Ben and Jude this week was also contradictory:

Jude Komisarjevsky said her son denied he was molested by the foster teen. Her husband, Benedict, testified earlier that his wife told him Joshua and his siblings were sexually abused by the teen.  See Huffington Post.

His mother also testified she didn’t learn about this until Joshua was in prison!

Is this where Joshua got the seeds of the story?  From Jude?  What’s fact, what’s fiction?  Is any of this the truth?  I just hope the jury sees the contradictions and feels as uneasy as I do!

Despite the fact we are waiting on a sentence for Komisarjevsky, all of this seems rather insignificant.

The gruesome events in July 2007 occurred only a few days after Komisarjevsky’s electronic monitoring bracelet was removed.  Why is that so important?  Because Komisarjevsky was released from his 2002 conviction early due to a move state officials acknowledge was not made according to proper procedures!  See Hartford Info.

Komisarjevsky and Steven Hayes were both paroled following routine administrative hearings…not State Parole Board hearings.  In an administrative hearing, the convict nor witnesses are present before the three person board.  Members acknowledged that they approved the early release of Joshua Komisarjevsky without ever reviewing court records.

Komisarjevsky was sentenced to nine years in prison for previous burglaries in 2002, the judge referred to him as a “cold, calculated predator.” The Prosecutor  described how Komisarjevsky purchased night goggles and always wore latex gloves when burglarizing homes. In his 15 years as a prosecutor, Dearstyne said, he “couldn’t remember a person who has laid out such a plan to this degree, where he would use night goggles.”

In violation of State law that required prosecutors to send the state Board of Pardons and Paroles a sentencing transcript for each inmate jailed more than two years, that information was not available to the three-member board that paroled Komisarjevsky in April 2007.

Yes, major reforms have been made, but not in time for Jennifer, Hayley and Michaela.

Tragically and maddeningly, despite the judge and prosecutor’s conscientious 2002 sentencing, Joshua Komisarjevsky walked early.

Tragically and maddeningly, the entire Petit family might be making plans for dinner and a movie tonight!

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  1. ritanita
    10/30/2011 at 7:19 am

    Donchais, I can see the difficulty here. Komisarjevsky’s own parents aren’t even on the same page as far as the alleged molestation goes. Part of me wants to say he was molested and went on to do the same to his sister. On the other hand, it could be a family story cooked up for his first offense.

    I mean, if I had been molested by a foster child myself, would I take in a foster child and not keep a close eye on the situation?

    Why isn’t his sister there to describe how she “forgave” her brother? Did she really? To forgive is one thing, to forget is another. In addition, why isn’t there testimony from whoever counseled the family in the church to back up the claims?

    I suppose we will never know the truth of the matter.

    As for calling the murderer’s nine-year-old daughter to testify, even from a remote location… outrageous!

    Thank you for keeping up coverage on this under-covered trial. The first one had a lot more MSM attention. But, ahem, we have THAT OTHER TRIAL hogging the news.

  2. donchais
    10/30/2011 at 7:51 am

    I did read an article somewhere about a church pastor who knew Komisarjevsky. He said he was a kind and caring kid who went out of his way to help others. He also said he was absolutely horrified and the vicious crimes he committed – so go figure!

    The whole defense just screams lies, much like what we heard from the defense in THAT OTHER TRIAL!

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