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Father who lost family in 2007 Connecticut murders expecting new baby

By Mary Ellen Clark

MERIDEN, Connecticut (Reuters) - Dr. William Petit, whose wife and daughters were murdered in a 2007 home invasion, has announced he and his new wife are expecting a baby in December, according to local media reports.

News from Petit, 56, that his wife Christine, 36, is pregnant comes several days before the couple's first wedding anniversary on August 5. Petit told the Hartford Courant and WFSB-TV on Thursday that the baby is due on December 3.

The former Christine Paluf, 36, a professional photographer, met Petit while volunteering for the Petit Family Foundation, a charity he created in memory of his wife Jennifer Hawke-Petit and their daughters, Hayley, 17, and Michaela, 11.

The wife and daughters were murdered during an invasion of the family's Cheshire, Connecticut home in July 2007.

Petit told the television station he was excited about anticipating a new baby.

"Children are always your jewels," Petit said.

He did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

Convicted in the 2007 murders were Joshua Komisarjevsky and Stephen Hayes, who were both sentenced to death.

Connecticut in 2012 repealed the death penalty for future crimes, but the punishment remains in place for previous cases including Komisarjevsky and Hayes.

The two men held the family hostage for hours, before setting the home on fire. Petit was severely beaten but survived, his wife and daughters were killed.

Komisarjevsky's attorneys said last month they are mulling the possibility of requesting a new trial on the argument that information about the police response was not given to the defense team.

(Editing by Barbara Goldberg; editing by Andrew Hay)