The Connecticut Appellate Court has ruled in theHartford Courant’s favor on the appeal by Joshua Komisarjevsky’s defense attorneys to block the release of the witness lists to the news media.
The one-page Appellate Court order extended a stay already in effect on the witness list release for one week until June 1 to give Komisarjevsky’s lawyers a chance to appeal the decision to a higher court.
The Hartford Courant reported that the lawyers indicated they intend to appeal the matter to the Connecticut Supreme Court.
Komisarjevsky faces the death penalty for the 2007 Cheshire home invasion triple homicide.
Police say he and Steven Hayes intended to rob Dr. William Petit and his family, but the crime turned violent and the doctor’s wife and two daughters were murdered by the pair. During the ordeal, Petit was severely beaten and his wife and younger daughter were sexually assaulted.
Komisarjevsky’s lawyers have argued that releasing the lists would jeopardize his right to a fair trial.
In court documents, the defense lawyers said if potential witnesses for Komisarjevsky are publicly identified, they might be targets of threats and intimidation that would discourage them from testifying.
The Courant has sought the release of the witness lists arguing they are court documents that aren’t normally sealed and the defense wasn’t specific about the threats witnesses might receive.