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It's Death for Convict In Horrific Petit Triple Murder Case

It's Death for Convict In Horrific Petit Triple Murder Case

Dr. William Petit, left, with his daughters Michaela, front, Hayley, center rear, and his wife, Jennifer Hawke-Petit (AP)

Associated Press

November 08, 2010

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) — A Connecticut man will be sentenced to death for a night of terror inside a suburban home in which a woman was strangled and her two daughters tied to their beds, doused in gasoline and left to die in a fire.

A jury decided Monday that Steven Hayes should receive the death penalty. Jurors deliberated over four days in New Haven Superior Court. The judge will impose the sentence.

Hayes’ attorneys tried to persuade the jury to spare his life by portraying him as a clumsy, drug addicted thief who never committed violence until the 2007 home invasion with another paroled burglar. They said Hayes’s co-defendant, Joshua Komisarjevsky (koh-mih-sar-JEV’-skee), escalated the violence. They say Hayes was remorseful.

But prosecutors said both men were equally responsible.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below.

A Connecticut jury has reached a verdict on whether a man convicted in a deadly home invasion should be executed or serve a life sentence.


Steven Hayes

The New Haven Superior Court judge says it will be a lengthy process to announce the verdict for Steven Hayes. The jury entered in its fourth day of deliberations Monday morning.

Hayes was convicted last month of killing a Cheshire woman and her two daughters in 2007.

His attorney has argued that Hayes is so isolated and anguished by the crime that life in prison would be worse than death.

But prosecutors say the death penalty is justice for a crime so heinous. They say Hayes and his co-defendant were on a “power trip” when they tormented the family for seven hours before they killed them.

Copyright © 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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