Defense attorneys want to block tweets

March 10, 2011 at 1:06 PM
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HARTFORD, Conn., March 10 (UPI) -- The judge in a New Haven, Conn., home-invasion murder trial has refused to ban reporters from tweeting details of the trial.

Lawyers representing Joshua Komisarjevsky say the tweets are prejudicial to their client and have appealed to the state supreme court to intervene, The Hartford (Conn.) Courant reported Thursday.

Defense attorneys say the tweets violate laws prohibiting the broadcast of sexual-assault trials. Reporters have been using cell phones and iPads to tweet courtroom action as it occurs.

Komisarjevsky is charged in the deaths of three members of the Petit family, Jennifer Hawke-Petit, Hayley, 17 and her sister Michaela, 11. Co-defendant Steven Hayes has been tried, convicted and sentenced to death for his role in the 2007 crimes.

Hawke-Petit was strangled and Michaela Petit was sexually assaulted before their home was set on fire. The only family member to survive was Dr. William Petit Jr. He was badly beaten, but was able to escape.

Superior Court Judge Jon C. Blue, who also presided over the Hayes trial, denied a motion from Komisarjevsky's lawyers to ban the tweets.

The tweets apparently weren't an issue in Hayes' trial.

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