NEW HAVEN, Conn – Joshua Komisarjevsky, who last month was convicted of murder, sexual assault, burglary and arson for his role in a brutal 2007 Connecticut home invasion, addressed the court Wednesday to object to his lawyers' decision to play videotaped testimony of his daughter during the penalty phase of his trial.
The judge in the case rejected Komisarjevsky's objection and said the video of his 9-year-old daughter will be screened before the jury Wednesday afternoon, the Hartford Courant reported.
Komisarjevsky's attorneys want to screen the video as part of their argument that Komisarjevsky should be handed a life sentence rather than be given the death penalty.
On Wednesday, Komisarjevsky, 31, told the court he was "not at all comfortable" with jurors viewing the video testimony of 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," he said, according the Courant. "The decision has been made for her."
The video features an interview between Komisarjevsky's daughter and a child psychologist. Lawyers said they planned to show only about a third of the nearly hour-long tape.
Dressed in a dark suit and tie, Komisarjevsky told the courtroom he feared his daughter would be unfairly burdened if she were publicly outed as the daughter of a convicted murderer.
"In this particular situation, I have carefully weighed the potential risks and have found that those risks and negative consequences to my daughter far outweigh the benefits of helping save my life," Komisarjevsky said according to the Courant.
Komisarjevsky's co-conspirator, Steven Hayes, was previously sentenced to death for his role in the 2007 home invasion that killed Jennifer Hawke-Petit, 48, and her daughters, Hayley, 17, and Michaela, 11. William Petit Jr. -- Hawke-Petit's husband and the girls' father -- was badly beaten during the attack.
Komisarjevsky's lawyers have presented evidence of his strict religious upbringing, his lack of psychiatric care after childhood sexual abuse, and his efforts to properly raise his daughter in an attempt to persuade the jury to spare him from execution.
The same Connecticut Superior Court jury that convicted Komisarjevsky on all 17 counts charged against him, including six capital offenses, will decide whether he receives a lifetime in jail or a state execution for his crimes.