The nine-year-old daughter of triple murderer Joshua Komisarjevsky will testify in court via video during the death penalty phase of his trial for the Petit family massacre, RadarOnline.com has learned.
The 31-year-old killer’s defense team had asked that the girl be taped to provide evidence for the New Haven, Connecticut jury who is deliberating whether her father should be sentenced to death, or spend the rest of his life in prison, 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, Connecticut home.
Judge Jon C. Blue had been considering the notion of having the little girl, who was five at the time of the murders, testify and decided on Thursday that a video shown in open court that only the jury can see was a ”reasonable compromise under the circumstances.”
Credentialed media will be able to view the videotape afterward, Blue said, and a transcript will be made and released as a public exhibit, using a pseudonym rather that the name of Komisarjevsky’s daughter.
Sources told the Hartford Courant that the girl will be videotaped at another location, probably next week, and that she will not be questioned by either defense attorneys or prosecutors.
Just six weeks before he was arrested for the Petit murders in 2007, Komisarjevsky was released from a halfway house following a stint in prison for multiple burglaries and won custody of his then five-year-old daughter, arguing that her mother was in hospital for mental evaluation and drug treatment.
“His daughter was adorable, he loved her to death. He was a great dad,” Caroline Mesel, who was dating Joshua at the time of the murders, told RadarOnline.com “I go back and forth about whether he gets life or death. I just want it to be over with,” she went on to say.
What Mesel was most upset about is the fate of his daughter and if she is made to appear in court.
“That is horrible if they make her testify, she’s only a kid. She was so little when it happened, what on earth could she say?” asked Caroline.
The penalty phase of Komisarjevsky’s trial continues.