Suspect's past at issue in Conn. murder trial

AP News
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Posted: Nov 16, 2011 3:56 AM
Suspect's past at issue in Conn. murder trial

A Connecticut jury deciding whether to impose the death penalty on a man convicted of a triple murder home invasion will hear testimony from officials in the prison system, a halfway house and a drug treatment program.

The penalty phase of Joshua Komisarjevsky's (koh-mih-sar-JEFF'-skees) trial continues Wednesday in New Haven. He was convicted last month of capital felony, murder, sexual assault and other crimes in the 2007 killings in Cheshire. The victims were Jennifer Hawke-Petit and her two daughters, 11-year-old Michaela and 17-year-old Hayley.

The officials scheduled to take the stand Wednesday are expected to offer testimony that defense lawyers say supports their argument that Komisarjevsky shouldn't be executed.

The defense also says Komisarjevsky's parents didn't get him proper psychological treatment as a child because of their fundamentalist religious beliefs.