NEW HAVEN, Conn. – A judge has rejected a lawyers' request to delay the sentencing of a Connecticut man condemned to death for killing a mother and her two daughters in a home invasion.
The public defenders who represent Steven Hayes said in papers submitted to New Haven Superior Court that the extensive publicity surrounding the case may have helped deny a fair trial. They asked for a two-month delay.
New Haven Superior Court Judge Jon Blue denied the request Wednesday and is scheduled to impose the sentence Dec. 2.
Hayes was convicted of sexually assaulting and strangling Jennifer Hawke-Petit. Authorities say he and Joshua Komisarjevsky (koh-mih-sar-JEV'-skee) tied her two daughters to their beds, poured gasoline on them and set their house on fire.
Komisarjevsky is to go on trial next year.
THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.
NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) — Lawyers for a Connecticut man condemned to death for killing a mother and her two daughters during a home invasion have asked for a two-month delay in sentencing as they investigate whether their client's constitutional right to a fair trial was denied.
Steven Hayes' public defenders say in papers submitted to New Haven Superior Court on Wednesday that the extensive publicity of the case may have helped deny a fair trial.
The lawyers, Thomas Ullmann and Patrick Culligan, note that the death penalty was an issue in the campaigns for Connecticut governor and U.S. senator this year. They say that could've inflamed jurors' passion and prejudice or lead to verdicts that were otherwise arbitrary and capricious.
Sentencing is scheduled for Dec. 2.