Image:
AP
This July 2007 police photo, presented as evidence on Wednesday, Sept. 21, in the Joshua Komisarjevsky trial in New Haven, Conn., shows a fire-damaged portion of the Petit home in Cheshire, Conn., where three family members were killed during a home invasion.
msnbc.com and NBC News
updated 9/27/2011 12:19:31 PM ET 2011-09-27T16:19:31

Police have released a recording of a confession from one of the suspects in the Connecticut home invasion that resulted in the deaths of a mother and her two daughters, NBC Connecticut reported on Tuesday.

Joshua Komisarjevsky gave the account to Cheshire police on the day in July, 2007, that Jennifer Hawke-Petit, and her daughters Hayley, 17, and Michaela, 11, died in what the accused called "a home invasion gone terribly wrong." The tape, which was released to the public late Monday, was played to jurors last week, NBC Connecticut reported.

In the audiotaped confession, Komisarjevsky said he spotted Michaela and her mother at a supermarket, followed them home and later returned with his co-defendant, Steven Hayes.

The three family members died after the house was doused in gasoline and set on fire. The husband, Dr. William Petit, survived the attack. Komisarjevsky faces a possible death sentence if he's convicted. Hayes was convicted last year and is on death row.

Story: Doctor: Home invasion victim took minutes to die

During his confession, Komisarjevsky described what he felt as he followed Hawke-Petit and her daughter from the supermarket.

"For whatever reason I chose to follow the mom and the daughter to their house and saw they lived in a very nice house and had a very nice car," he said according to the recording. "I thought it would be nice to be there someday and not have to worry about financial problems and stress and all that that goes with it."

In the recording, Komisarjevsky says he and Hayes later broke into the house in Cheshire, beat Dr. Petit with a baseball bat, then tied him, his wife and two daughters up as they looked for money. Police say Hayes later drove Hawke-Petit to a bank so she could make a withdrawal, and then raped and strangled her after they returned to the house.

Dr. Malka Shah of the chief medical examiner's office testified Monday that Hayley's clothes smelled of gas, she had remnants of rope tightly tied on her, burns all over her body and her lungs were filled with carbon monoxide.

Image:
AP
This photo released by the Connecticut Judicial Branch as evidence presented Monday, Sept. 26, 2011 in the Joshua Komisarjevsky trial in New Haven, Conn., Superior Court, shows two men at an ATM banking machine at a Stop and Shop store. Prosecutors are expected to argue that one of the men is Komisarjevsky. (AP Photo/Connecticut Judicial Branch)

Hayley had been tied in her bed and left to die in the fire that prosecutors said both men set, but her body was found at the top of the staircase. Her sister, Michaela, died of smoke inhalation in her bed.

Inhaling smoke and hot air would have been painful and such deaths can take anywhere from a few to several minutes, Shah said.

Shah said she could not say whether the burns occurred while Hayley was alive, nor could she say if the injuries occurred before or after Hayley fell in the hallway.

Story: Jurors hear confession in Conn. home invasion

In the recording, Komisarjevsky says he and Hayes were "stressed" and argued during the home invasion. The two blamed each other for escalating the violence, but prosecutors say both men are equally responsible.

Detective Joseph Vitello told jurors that Komisarjevsky took explicit cellphone photos of Michaela Petit, whom he has admitted molesting. Komisarjevsky planned to send the photos to Hayes so that he could show them to the girl's mother if she didn't cooperate while the two were outside the home.

Komisarjevsky's attorneys tried to show the jury he immediately cooperated with police by telling them two girls were in the house engulfed in fire, while Hayes offered no help.

But Vitello said Komisarjevsky was quick to implicate Hayes, while not revealing some details of his own role.

Associated Press contributed to this report.

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