Apr 6, 2011

Mastermind of Petit murders bogs down Jury selection

Not a big surprise that the Jury selection ( aka Voire dire) process for  Joshua Komisarjevsky trial is moving at the same tortoise-like pace as the  entire pre-trial'process did for Steven Hayes . Both men were literally caught fleeing the Petit murder scene, a gasoline fueled house-fire designed specifically to kill all in its path, which included poor Hayley and Michaela Petit, tied to their gasoline soaked beds as well as the body of Jennifer Hawke Petit who was raped then murdered prior to the fire by strangulation.

The ensuing jury selection, trial and sentencing phase for Steven Hayes, Komisarjevsky's hand picked accomplice and sexual predator in his own rite,was enlisted, apparently with ease,(as evidenced by the text messages from Hayes leading up to the crimes)  by Komisarjevsky soon after he'd spotted Michaela Petit and her mother shopping at the Cheshire Stop and Shop earlier. He's admitted to both writer Brian MacDonald as well in his journals, that he liked the way the younger Petit girl looked" 

Michaela Petit was eleven years old.

Later that very same night, after meeting at a bar  and hiding their cars, both men toting zip-ties, surgical gloves, a pellet gun nearly identical to a 9 mm handgun, and Komisarjevsky's cellphone with a camera( he used this to take pornographic photos of Michaela and Hayley tied to their beds, before sadistically burning them to death.

" Fire destroys everything" he told Hayes, including DNA evidence, and it also served to get rid of the witnesses to the sexual assaults, the larceny and Komisarjevsky' severe assault on a sleeping Dr. Petit who he struck repeatedly in the head with a baseball bat..

Mrs Petit was sexually assaulted by Steven Hayes immediately after returning back to the house from her bank - shed complied with the men and procured 15,000 in cash (5,000 more than they asked for)
and believed that the men would keep their promise and not harm her family and leave.
Needless to say this was a terrible ruse and both men held back their true viciousness right up to the end,
 with Komisarjevsky playing the smooth diplomat  and even confiding to her some of the problems he had and why he needed money so badly.

 Unfortunately, Jennifer, a trusting soul, believed him right up until the point when both men grabbed her and tied her back up with her begging for her life as Hayes raping her. According to Hayes Komisarjevsky walked in and out of the room while he raped Mrs Petit and Komisarjevsky said "Get rid of her!" And Steven Hayes choked Jennifer Petit to death breaking her larynx in two places.

I am certain that Mrs Petit was shocked and didn't see this coming at all - remember shed told the bank
teller the men holding her family hostage were being "nice" and as long as no one called the police everything would be fine"  This is a bit akin to something called the Stockholm syndrome and its a self preservation technique that many people experience in order to survive an ordeal where their control and power is taken
by criminals or abductors or even abusive partners.

Jennifer Petit was good hearted and empathetic but but she also seemed to be a very strong woman and as such I attribute the fact that she was so unaware of what these men truly were capable of and in fact-doing-right under her nose ie komisarjevsky molesting Michaela in spurts as shown by his cell phone time stamps,  while Hayes was out on road trips to buy gas for burning down the Petits house -komisarjevsky had to lead him back to the Petits home via cell phone calls when Hayes, unfamiliar with the Cheshire area, got lost numerous times.

All of this was care of Joshua komisarjevsky's agility at manipulation and lying;  Prior to this final inevitable exposure of his true evil self komisarjevsky was careful to keep his molestations of Michaela quiet, as the girls and Mrs Petit were tied up in separate rooms, making them isolated and more manageable. I  believe he also likely kept Hayes from sexually assaulting Mrs Petit until the money was in their hands in order to insure her compliance and trust. He had earlier admitted using her attractiveness as bait to get Hayes interested in the "job" as he undoubtedly had had conversations with Hayes whereby both men hit upon their mutual fantasy of sexual sadism and control of women-or pubescent in Komisarjevsky's case. 

He also needed a second guy to insure that he could get the household under control. There was likely a male head of household and truth be told if komisarjevsky went in to that house alone, even getting the drop on Dr Petit with a bat  sound asleep on a see through glass porch, Hayley Petit was a strong athlete and she'd escaped her binds once and komisarjevsky admitted calling Hayes for help to overtake her and get her tied back to her bed.

Komisarjevsky and Hayes had in fact spent the two previous nights breaking into homes in Cheshire, so that the former, who fancied himself a thief or great talent, could show the older man how "easy it was to get into most of these upper middle class homes.

This break-in was different as evidenced by the rope, masks, gun zip ties and the initial severe assault upon the then sleeping Bill Petit whom the men admitted they'd watched  sleeping through sun porch gable windows at 3 am as they stalked the family. Twelve blows to Petit's head almost cost his life.

He was the lone survivor for the simple reason that as a man he was not the critical target of the men thus they allowed their attention to be directed elsewhere for the longest periods of time; they  needed him neutralized so that they could proceed with their  sexual assaults of the girls and Jennifer Petit and grab whatever goods or cash they might get. Thus, they took their attention away from him the longest, They'd left him tied to a pole in his cellar all night and morning and the blood loss from Komisarjevsky's bat blows and brain injury caused him to float in and out of consciousness.

The pair did however plan to kill him eventually via burning down the house with him tied. He foiled this plan when he escaped through the bilco steps hopping on tied legs rolling across his lawn  when he'd awakened to hear strange noises on the floor above him.

sadly Jennifer Petit believed the money would buy the men's departure but was unaware that Komisarjevsky sent Hayes out to buy Gasoline 5 containers worth at 6 am that morning. .The plan had long been hatched to kill the entire family and neither man was particularly disturbed by what they'd done as police at the scene who were setting up perimeters cited they both were laughing as they ran out of the Petit's burning home.

The amount of preemptory challenges allowed in Connecticut, where either side can simply dismiss a potential juror with no reason at all is already high.
Thus far the defense of Komisarjevsky who sits in on this process as allowed by law, has used up many more such challenges than the prosecution. The pre-requisites for the trial already are difficult enough, and the defense has tried unsuccessfully to have the trial moved-change of venue-based on publicity, and their client not getting a chance at a true objective jury as a result.

 The judge overruled this as this crime has had national media attention since it happened and then after the gag order was in essence partially made moot when first komisarjevsky co authored a self serving version of the crimes to a true crime writer and then later via the Hayes trial where much forensic and other evidence presented such as komisarjevskys cellphone photos of a nude Michaela tied to her bed as well as Hayley her 17 year old sister, the latter was taken at a time frame where Hayes was proven to be at the bank with Jen Petit, making it clear the photos were komisarjevskys doing.

The bottom line is that there is no place in Connecticut nor the country where one can find a jury that knows nothing about the case. But in fact this works for konmisarjevsky as so much that has been written is what he himself tried to spoon feed the potential jury pool via his book derived from interviews and journals given to an author who has since realized he'd been duped by a sociopath of the textbook variety.

For now the defense attorney's are using up their preemptory challenges like mad dogs, the prosecution also using a few but in his typical intelligent and conservative nature, dearington is just doing his job., while Donovan and Banford are alternately trying to both slow the process down to a halt as well as setting up another attempt at moving the trial ie "' see I told you we couldnt find an appropriate jury  here in New Haven.'"

These two lawyers have tried so many horse and pony tricks re a plethora of motions based on non exisiting or twisted precedents and any other unethical manipulation that they can conceive of, in order to " "save the life of their  client"

In the meantime, God is watching.