Lawyers: 2nd defendant can get fair trial

Nov. 10, 2010 at 4:40 PM
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NEW HAVEN, Conn., Nov. 10 (UPI) -- Legal experts say the second home invasion defendant charged in what may be Connecticut's most notorious crime can get a fair trial in the state.

Joshua Komisarjevsky is scheduled to go on trial next year charged with a home invasion in Cheshire in which he allegedly killed a woman and her two daughters, raped the girls and left their husband and father near death. Steven Hayes was convicted and given a death sentence after a trial that was reported across the country.

M. Hatcher Norris, a criminal defense lawyer in Hartford, Conn., told The Hartford Courant jury selection for Komisarjevsky could take a month or more.

"But it's not impossible to get a jury," Norris said. "It takes some time, but you'll be able to find people who will honestly say they haven't made up their mind and who will give it a fair hearing."

Bruce Koffsky of Stamford represented a defendant in another notorious case, the killing of a woman and her young son to keep her from testifying in another homicide case. He said Komisarjevsky's trial can be moved away from New Haven, and even in a small state jurors in another area will not have been exposed to the same saturation coverage.

Defendants are entitled to jurors who can listen to the evidence fairly, not to ones who have never heard of the case, Koffsky added.

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