Psychologist: ‘Toxic Stew’ In Komisarjevsky Upbringing


NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) _ A psychologist says a Connecticut man facing a possible death sentence for killing a woman and her two daughters in a home invasion suffered a “toxic stew” of childhood sexual abuse, uncontrollable mood swings and concussions.

Leslie Lebowitz testified Monday in the sentencing phase of Joshua Komisarjevsky’s (koh-mih-sar-JEV’-skee).

Lebowitz says Komisarjevsky was “severely damaged” by living in an environment as a young child in which he was chronically terrorized and abused by his foster brother. She says there’s reason to believe his brain was harmed by the abuse and concussions he later suffered.

Komisarjevsky and co-defendant Steven Hayes were convicted of capital felony and other charges stemming from the killings of Jennifer Hawke-Petit and her two daughters, Hayley and Michaela, at their Cheshire home.

Hayes is on death row.

     (Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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