Posted at 01:41 PM ET, 10/14/2011

Joshua Komisarjevsky guilty of Petit murders

Joshua Komisarjevsky has been found guilty in the murder case that rocked Hartford, Conn., four years ago.
Dr. William Petit Jr. with his daughters, Michaela, front, and Hayley, center rear, and his wife, Jennifer Hawke-Petit, on Cape Cod, Mass. (AP)

In 2007, the jury heard, the paroled burglar broke into the Petit family home, sexually molested the younger of the family’s two daughters and, with his accomplice Steven Hayes, set the house on fire, killing the girls and their mother.

Hayes was found guilty for his role in the break-in and killings last year, but Dr. William Petit, who survived the attack, said Komisarjevsky’s trial was much more difficult for him because it centered on Komisarjevsky’s sexual predilection for Petit’s younger daughter.

Komisarjevsky spotted Jennifer Hawke-Petit, Petit’s wife, and their younger daughter, 11-year-old Michaela, at a grocery store and followed them back to their house, prosecutors said. He later returned with Hayes.

Hayes is currently on death row for his role in the murders and the rape of Hawke-Petit.
This July 23, 2007 file photo, provided by the Connecticut State Police, shows Joshua Komisarjevsky. (AP)

Komisarjevsky was found guilty on 17 counts, including murder, burglary, kidnapping, sexual assault and arson. He will face a death penalty hearing, scheduled for Oct. 24, before the same jury.

When the verdict was read, reporters in the court said he showed no sign of emotion. As Petit left the courthouse, ABC reports, he described Komisarjevsky as “a lying psychopathic personality who probably still doesn't think he's done anything wrong.”

In a press conference after the verdict, Petit said that the sexual violence inflicted on his daughter had made him much more aware of how many women suffer from sexual predation. He has started a foundation to help women suffering from violence. And he said, he was sometimes tormented with thoughts of “What would have happened if I had two sons?”

By  |  01:41 PM ET, 10/14/2011

Tags:  National, Joshua Komisarjevsky, Crime, William Petit, Petit

 
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