By Debbie Emery – Radar Reporter
Stone-faced killer Joshua Komisarjevsky has barely shown a flicker of emotion throughout his murder trial and subsequent penalty phase but seeing his daughter via video finally sparked a reaction from him, RadarOnline.com has learned.
The nine-year-old girl was interviewed last week and despite her triple-murderer father objecting about the footage being played in the New Haven, Connecticut court, the jury saw her laughing and chatting to the camera on Wednesday, reported the Hartford Courant.
As RadarOnline.com previously reported, Komisarjevsky was found guilty of 17 counts on October 13 for the grisly murders of Jennifer Hawke-Petit and her daughters, Hayley, 17, and Michaela, 11, and the vicious beating of their father, Dr. William Petit, on July 23, 2007 in their Cheshire home. The jury is now deciding if he spends the rest of his life in prison or gets the death penalty.
Having been separated since the killings, the girl barely seemed to remember that the convicted murderer was her dad. She told a social worker that the man, “Josh,” is the son of her grandparents and that she used to play with him at their home but didn’t recall living with him.
In a rare statement to the court, Komisarjevsky stood in a dark suit and mumbled that he was “not at all comfortable” with them seeing his daughter.
“Had this interview been her decision to make, and she was old enough to understand that decision, that would be one thing. However, that is not the case in this situation. The decision has been made for her.
“For me, this isn’t just some detached intellectualized argument on my part. Of all parties involved, I have the most at stake. My life is quite literally on the line.”
Joshua was granted sole custody of the girl two months before the murders after being embroiled in a bitter custody battle with her mother, Jennifer Norton, who was being treated at a crisis intervention unit.
Superior Court Judge Jon C. Blue overruled Komisarjevsky’s objection to the video being played in the closed court and instead the distraught dad had to listen to his little girl talk about her best friends and her love of Animal Planet.
“I told him he doesn’t have any choice,” said defense attorney Jeremiah Donovan about his client’s plea for it to not to be played. “This thing is our choice.”
The child, who lives with her maternal aunt, did not know she was being videoed, testified Caroline Long Burry, a social worker and child welfare officer who conducted the interview.
In an exclusive interview with RadarOnline.com, Josh’s ex-girlfriend Caroline Mesel revealed how devoted he was to the little girl leading up to the murders.
“His daughter was adorable, he loved her to death. He was a great dad,” Mesel told RadarOnline.com in an exclusive interview, as she revealed how 31-year-old Komisarjevsky cared for his then five-year-old daughter.
On Tuesday, Komisarjevsky’s mother, Jude, testified that she cared for her granddaughter during short visits at first, but that over time, the girl’s troubled mother left the girl at her house for long weekends.
“It’s a lot easier to party without the kids around,” Jude said, according to the Hartford Courant, referring to the troubled mom’s drug and psychiatric problems.
The penalty phase of Komisarjevsky’s trial continues.