Jury Pool Shrinks

A jury is being selected for Joshua Komisarjevsky trial.

Jury selection began this morning in the trial of Joshua Komisarjevsky and five hours into the selection process, no jurors have been chosen. 

Komisarjevsky is charged with six counts of capital felony murder for the deaths of Jennifer Hawke Petit and her daughters, Hayley, 17, and Michaela, 11, during a 2007 home invasion in Cheshire.

Fifty potential jurors were in court on Wednesday morning. By about 11:30 a.m., the pool was down to 19. Some people were dismissed because they knew Judge Jon Blue, Cheshire police officers or Dr. William Petit.

Some were dismissed over financial hardship or personal responsibilities, according to tweets from the courtroom. Others were released because they said they could not be impartial.

Twelve jurors must be chosen, as well as six alternates and three backup jurors.

"I had an emotional reaction when I walked into the courtroom and saw what this case was. It almost brought me to tears," said one juror who was released after saying she could not be impartial.

By 2:30 p.m., one juror got further than the others in questioning. She said she she had not heard Komisarjevsky's name and did not know the outcome of his co-defendant Steven Haye's case.  

Hayes was convicted in November and is on death row. The defense used its first peremptory challenge.

The woman said she would be willing to adjust her schedule as a health-care consultant and could be fair and impartial.

She said she does not watch much TV, doesn't routinely read a newspaper, does not use the Internet much but has seen some media reports on the case.

When asked about the death penalty, she said it is appropriate for a murder charge. 

Jurors in Hayes' trial became emotionally upset when they viewed gruesome crime scene photos, but the woman said she thought she could put the emotions aside.

But, in the end, she was not placed on the jury.  

As one dismissed juror left the courtroom, NBC Connecticut asked what he or she thought when seeing Komisarjevsky.

"I did think he's a murderer," the person said. "What happened in Cheshire was horrible. I have a family there and basically, I thought he was guilty and I was set in my way there," said the released juror.

Attorneys for Komisarjevsky have tried unsuccessfully to move the trial from New Haven to Fairfield County, citing the intense publicity.

Jury selection could take months,Hayes said.

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