updated 10/30/2007 4:16:34 PM ET 2007-10-30T20:16:34

One of two men accused of killing a woman and her two daughters during a home invasion in a wealthy community pleaded not guilty Tuesday.

Joshua Komisarjevsky, 27, of Cheshire, entered his pleas to charges of capital felony and multiple murder, kidnapping, sexual assault and arson.

A hearing for Steven Hayes, 44, of Winsted, who faces the same charges, is scheduled for Thursday.

Prosecutors have said they will seek the death penalty.

The two have been held in lieu of $15 million bail each since they were arrested July 23 as they fled the scene in Cheshire. Both were on parole at the time following burglary convictions.

Police said the pair took the Petit family hostage, killing 48-year-old Jennifer Hawke-Petit and her daughters, Hayley, 17, and Michaela, 11. The lone survivor, Dr. William Petit Jr., was severely beaten but escaped.

Hawke-Petit was taken to a bank and forced to withdraw money, then later was strangled. The girls died from smoke inhalation after the family home was set ablaze.

Court documents released last week showed that gasoline had been poured on and around the three women before the house was set on fire.

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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