Tuesday, August 7, 2007

The story still unfolds......

The streets around the New Haven Superior Court were closed off this morning and the police presence was heavy while the two suspects in the Petit family murders arrived in court. Members of the Department of Corrections special operations team, wearing fatigues and black vest, monitored them in the courtroom. Family members of the Petit family filled the two rows in the courtroom reserved for them and other than one man who yelled "killer" and was escorted from the courtroom, the brief hearing was quiet. Komisarjevsky and Hayes didn't enter pleas and only answered yes or no to questions followed by the judge setting September 18 2007 for a probable cause hearing.

Petit family members issued a statement but declined to talk with reporters after the hearing.

"We understand that these men being arraigned have commited horrific acts of violence against our beloved family members, and that because those acts also violate numerous laws the state has a responsiblity to hold these individuals accountable for what they have done," the statement read.

Gov Jodi Rell ordered that the records of both men be released as officials continue their investigation into the state's parole system.

Hayes had been in and out of prison and halfway homes since 1981 and had a record that included stealing a car, cash and a gun. The parole board received 349 pages of records on him when they met to consider releasing him this last time. In one document, Hayes admitted that he would smoke cocaine daily and used alcohol and marijuana several times a week. He had numerous problems over the years that included testing positive for cocaine while in a halfway house, having "contraband" in prison and being intoxicated.

Hayes, who met Komisarjevsky in a Hartford drug rehab and later roomed with him at a halfway house, has been described as the clumsy thief. He had virtually no history of violence throughout his 25 arrests. He had fathered two children, gotten married and worked as a cook at various restaurants. Hayes had been denied and granted paroles through time and he often violated the conditions of his release through his drug use.

In 1996, he wrote in his statement to the police, how well things were going in the Hartford community release program where he was less than two months away from discharge from. On his way to the bank, he met up with a female friend and smoked cocaine. He then went on the run, stole a car and spent the next 11 days breaking into cars to steal wallets and pocketbooks. Police eventually found him daydreaming in the stolen car.

Hayes had records as well describing his work ethic which included a report from the manager of the Slavation Army Store where he was employed in 2001, as an excellent employee and good friend.

Komisarjevshy, who is represented by court appointed attorney Jeremiah Donovan, has been far from the bungling thief. His file was 89 pages long and detailed a string of robberies from 2001 to 2002 in which he stole home electronics, credit cards, cell phones, cash and drivers licenses from unloceked homes and often at night. Komisarjevsky claimed that he was addicted to crystal meth and he stole to pay for his habit. While in jail, there were no recorded problems with him.

The transcript from the sentencing of Komisarjevsky had not been provided to the parole board and it has been said that it may have prevented him from being released when he was. It contained his descriptions of planning and carrying out his robberies at night and oftentimes when residents were home. His attorney in that case, William Gerace himself stated to the judge that he believed there was no middle ground with his client, he would either become a career criminal or never return to court.

Gerace stressed that Komisarjevsky needed emotional and psychological help. He had suffered from concussions that led to his personality deterioration, had been admitted to a psychiatric hospital, been perscribed antidepressants which he wasn't taking because of his parents fear of his suicide attempts and chance of overdosing again. Komisarjevsky stated that he began using marijijuana at age 14 and by age 18, he had started using cocaine and methamphetemine and he started stealing from upscale homes to pay for that habit.

"If you put two people together, two certain people, together, they say it's like mixing oil and water. Sometimes it gels perfectly together and things escalate. You mix the wrong chemicals, you get an explosion or you get nothing," stated Cheshire police Lt Jay Markella.

Both Komisarjevsky's attorney, Jeremiah Donovan and Hayes's attorney, Thomas Ullman have declined comment so far. The complete timeline for the police response has not been released either at this time. While there is much debate about the length of time it took for the police to respond, it must be remembered that they may not have known what they were actually responding to. If there had been an indication of it being a hostage situation, it would have taken much longer than 30 minutes just to set up and respond with an appropriate team and no one, i believe could have forsaw what these two had planned for the Petit family.

In this case, it definately seems to me that the wrong two people came together and a horrific crime is the result of that meeting.

For my previous posts on the Petit family, go here and here. Newer posts, go here and here.

update: posted Aug 16

Today it was revealed that toxicology result on both suspects have found no evidence of either drugs or alcohol in their systems. Experts have stated that had there been evidence of either, they may have escaped the death penelty for being "under the influence" at the time of the crime.

This is seen by many as an early and significant developement because both men's mental states at the time of the crime is relevent to proving whether they intended to commit the crime. Both suspects have a long history of drug use on their criminal histories.

In another developement, hundreds met at a Cheshire in a town park in an effort to urge lawmakers to strengthen Connecticut's "three strikes" law. They want offenders of three serious felonies to be mandated to serve a minimum of 25 years in prison. The Legislature's Judiciary Commitee plans to meet next month to discuss locations within the state for new prisons and a second meeting to discuss other proposals from lawmakers.

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