Jurors Decree Death Penalty On Connecticut Man For Home Invasion Deaths

November 9th, 2010 by Staff

Source: wooeb news — Steven Hayes, 47, who was convicted in October of 2010 of 16 counts, including nine counts of murder and capital murder, and four counts of kidnapping, was handed a decree of death after 18 hours of deliberations by a 5 men seven women panel of jurors in New Haven Connecticut.

According to prosecutors and law enforcement reports, on July 23, 2007, Hayes, along with Joshua Komisarjevsky, invaded the home of Dr. William Petit in Cheshire, Connecticut, where they beat Dr. William Petit unconscious and raped and strangled his wife Jennifer Hawke-Petit, 48 to death.

Before Hayes and Komisarjevsky’s crime spree ended, they sexually molested Petit’s 11 year old daughter Michaela, and then in a further brazen act, tied Michaela and her 17-year-old sister Hayley to their beds and doused in gasoline, before setting the house on fire causing the girls to die of smoke inhalation. Dr. Petit who managed to escape to a neighbors home, was the only survivor in the deadly attack.

In a weak attempt to justify Hayes’ actions, defense lawyers presented testimony that Hayes was suicidal several and had waged a longtime struggle with substance abuse. But, prosecutor Michael Dearington told jurors, “Drugs don’t necessarily lead to violent crimes” and that drugs were no excuse.

Outside court, Petit called the decision “appropriate and just.”

“I thank the jury for doing their job,” he said, adding later “I think in a civilized society people need to be held responsible for their actions … especially when they’re viciously violent.

Judge Jon Blue of the New Haven Superior Court will formally sentence Hayes on December 2, where he will join 9 others on Connecticut’s death row for what could be decades, since the state has only executed one man since 1960.

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