Home Invasion Defendant Read Violent Books: Attorneys

The second man on trial, accused of the murders of Jennifer Hawke Petit and her daughters Hayley, 17, and Michaela, 11, says his co-defendant read violent books in prison the year before the crime.

Attorneys for Joshua Komisarjevsky filed court papers on Friday stating he didn't intend for the victims to die and that Steven Hayes is to blame for what happened.

The three women were brutally murdered inside their Cheshire home in 2007.

Komisarjevky's attorneys said Hayes checked out two dozen fictional books in prison the year before the home invasion. Most, according to the state Department of Correction, "pertain to very violent murders to include strangulation, rape, arson, serial killing, satanic torture and the burning of victims. Most victims are women."

Some of the books include “Split Second" by David Baldacci, "Battle Born" by Dale Brown, "Dead Air" by Rochelle Krich, "Beyond Recognition" by Ridley Pearson and "Unholy Fire" by Whitley Strieber.

Hayes, who is now on death row for the crime, has continually pointed the finger at Komisarjevsky, but prosecutors said both men are equally to blame for the crimes.

Brian Garnett, spokesman for the state Department of Correction, declined the Associated Press' request for comment, citing a gag order in the case.

Prison officials began reviewing the library policy last year after an AP investigation that found inmates had unrestricted access to works depicting graphic violence. Garnett said a review of how other states and the federal bureau of prisons handle the issue is continuing.
Jury selection in Komisarjevsky's trial starts on Wednesday.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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