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Defense rests in Conn. home invasion sentencing

Defense rests in sentencing of Conn. man convicted of killing mom, 2 girls in home invasion By The Associated Press

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) ' Defense attorneys rested Tuesday in their efforts to persuade a jury to spare a Connecticut man the death penalty for killing a woman and her two daughters in a 2007 home invasion.

Attorneys for Joshua Komisarjevsky ended their defense in New Haven Superior Court, The Hartford Courant reported. Prosecutors began a brief rebuttal before the jury that convicted Komisarjevsky decides whether he should get life in prison or a death sentence.

Closing arguments are expected Friday, with jury deliberations starting Monday. The sentencing phase began Oct. 25.

Komisarjevsky and co-defendant Steven Hayes were convicted of capital felony and other charges stemming from the killings of Jennifer Hawke-Petit and her two daughters, Hayley and Michaela, at their Cheshire home.

Hayes is on death row.

Jurors were shown a videotaped interview of Komisarjevsky's 9-year-old daughter last week over his objections. Komisarjevsky said he didn't want his daughter to feel compelled to help "one of the most hated people in America."

Prosecutor Michael Dearington reminded jurors that Komisarjevsky was convicted of sexually assaulting and killing a girl less than two years older than his daughter.

Komisarjevsky was repeatedly sexually abused by his older foster brother as a young child, according to testimony. His defense argues his staunchly religious family didn't get him proper help as he developed psychological problems.

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Related Keywords:Home Invasion,Legal proceedings,Crime,Violent crime,General news,Law and order

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