Death hearing ends in triple-homicide case
By Daniel Tepfer
BRIDGEPORT -- The prosecutor gave the summation of his life, but it will be up to a jury to decide whether Richard Roszkowski should get the death penalty for fatally shooting a city woman, her 9-year-old daughter and a Milford landscaper in 2006.
Many were visibly moved as Senior Assistant State's Attorney C. Robert Satti Jr. finished his hour-long argument Wednesday in the Main Street courtroom. Jurors stared at the floor or gazed toward the ceiling to hide tears. The victims' families openly wept.
Gone were the images of graphs and brain scans presented for more than three weeks by the defense lawyers. In their place was an image of little Kylie Flannery lying on the ground, pleading for her life.
Even the usually emotionless Roszkowski appeared to be affected by the presentation, telling Superior Court Judge John Kavanewsky after the jury had left the courtroom that he wanted a chance prior to being sentenced to apologize to the victims' families.
The jury of 10 men and two women will begin deliberations Friday to decide whether the 44-year-old Trumbull man gets death by lethal injection or imprisonment without release.
On May 4, after nearly four days of deliberation, the same jury found Roszkowski guilty of two counts of capital felony, three counts of murder and one count of criminal possession of a firearm for the Sept. 7, 2006, shooting deaths of 39-year-old Holly Flannery, her daughter, Kylie, and 38-year-old Thomas Gaudet.
Police said Roszkowski, a former neighbor of Flannery, shot her and Gaudet each once in the head on Seaview Avenue and then chased the girl down the street, shooting her in the back of the thigh, in the face and finally the side of the head at close range.
During the three-week trial, prosecutors Satti and Margaret Kelley presented six eyewitnesses to the crime. Public Defender Joseph Bruckmann and Assistant Public Defender Miles Gerety admitted Roszkowski had shot and killed the three victims, but claimed he had an extreme emotional disturbance.
Holly Flannery had been having an affair with Roszkowski, a former neighbor, but broke it off some weeks before the murder, according to the testimony of several witnesses. Witnesses also testified that Roszkowski continued to stalk Flannery, and that on the day of the killings, accused Gaudet, a former roommate, of having an affair with her. Gaudet, however, did not know Flannery, according to testimony.
In the death penalty hearing, the defense lawyers presented nationally recognized medical experts and death penalty opponents who testified Roszkowski has brain damage caused by earlier car crashes, hepatitis and long-term drug use.
"Our society does not impose the death penalty on a brain-damaged person, that's not what we do," Gerety told jurors.
But Satti in his summation Wednesday called the defense case "smoke and mirrors."
Showing a photo of Flannery and her daughter on a movie screen, he pondered what might have been going through their minds at the time of the shooting.
"He holds Holly's head in a headlock and puts the gun to the back of her head. 'Don't do it in front of my daughter,' she begs and as the bullet is going through her brain is it possible her last thought is, 'The pain is finally over after all these years.'"
Satti then addressed the last thoughts of the young girl, Kylie. "Mommy is dead. I'm running down the street and I see cars coming at me. Will someone save me? I feel pain in my back. Will these people save me?"
As Kylie Flannery was lying face up on the sidewalk, Satti said, "She looks up to see her executioner standing over her. She puts up her hand to block the next shot and the bullet goes through and into her jaw. But she isn't dead yet.
" 'Why isn't anyone coming to help me.' The last shot to the head renders her unconscious; she doesn't die for another hour." Then Satti ended his summation: "Her last thought may be: 'Will I get to see my mommy?"http://www.connpost.com/ci_12787156