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Judge in home-invasion trial to stay

Feb. 15, 2011 at 8:21 PM

NEW HAVEN, Conn., Feb. 15 (UPI) -- A Connecticut judge ruled Tuesday that the colleague who presided over the trial of the first defendant in a deadly home invasion should remain on the case.

Superior Court Judge Brian Fischer said he heard no evidence Judge Jon Blue showed bias toward the prosecution in the trial of Steven Hayes, who was convicted and sentenced to death, the Meriden Record-Journal reported. He said Blue should preside over the trial of Joshua Komisarjevsky.

Komisarjevsky allegedly participated with Hayes in the triple homicide. Jennifer Hawke-Petit and her teenage daughters, Hayley and Michaela, died, while Dr. William Petit Jr. was beaten and left for dead in the basement of his home in Cheshire.

Jeremiah Donovan, a defense lawyer, said he plans an appeal of the ruling. Once Fischer made his decision, Blue took the bench to deal with other pre-trial motions.

Komisarjevsky's lawyers presented evidence that Blue called Hayes "universally despised" when he gave jury instructions and that he suggested jurors hug each other after viewing gruesome crime scene photos.

Komisarjevsky was in court in a prison jumpsuit and shackles. Petit sat quietly in the audience section.

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