Trial to start in home invasion that shook Conn.

By JOHN CHRISTOFFERSEN | September 17, 2011 | 12:05 PM EDT

FILE - This March 14, 2011 file photo provided by the Connecticut Department of Correction shows Joshua Komisarjevsky. Komisarjevsky's trial starts Monday, Sept. 19, 2011, in New Haven Superior Court, where he faces the death penalty on charges of killing Jennifer Hawke-Petit and her daughters in a July 2007 home invasion in Cheshire, Conn. (AP Photo/Connecticut Department of Correction, File)

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) — A Connecticut man is heading to trial for a harrowing home invasion in an affluent suburb that left a mother and her two daughters dead and so unsettled this liberal-leaning state that the crime played a key role in halting momentum to abolish the death penalty.

The trial for Joshua Komisarjevsky (koh-mih-sar-JEV'-skee) starts Monday. He faces a possible death sentence if he's convicted. His co-defendant, Steven Hayes, was sentenced to death last year for killing Jennifer Hawke-Petit and her daughters in 2007 in Cheshire.

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy was elected last year as Connecticut's first anti-death penalty governor in more than 15 years, but an effort to abolish capital punishment ended in May when two key senators said they would oppose repeal after meeting with Hawke-Petit's husband.