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Steven Joseph HAYES

 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 
 
 
Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Home invasion murders - Rape - Robbery - Arson
Number of victims: 3
Date of murder: July 23, 2007
Date of arrest: Same day
Date of birth: May 30, 1963
Victim profile: Jennifer Hawke-Petit, 48, and her daughters Hayley Petit, 17, and Michaela Petit, 11
Method of murder: Strangulation - Smoke inhalation
Location: Cheshire, Connecticut, USA
Status: Sentenced to death on December 2, 2010
 
 
 
 
 

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Steven Hayes was condemned to death in Connecticut on December 2, 2010.

He was found guilty on 16 out of 17 counts related to the home invasion murders of Jennifer Hawke-Petit, age 48, and her daughters Hayley Petit, 17, and Michaela Petit, 11. William Petit, husband / father of the deceased, survived the attack.

His sentence includes six consecutive death sentences, one for each capital felony conviction, plus an additional 106 years for the remaining charges.

 
 

The Cheshire, Connecticut, home invasion murders occurred on July 23, 2007, when a mother and her two daughters were murdered during a home invasion in Cheshire, Connecticut. The Hartford Courant referred to the case as "possibly the most widely publicized crime in the state's history". In 2010, Steven Hayes was convicted of the murders and sentenced to death. His accomplice, Joshua Komisarjevsky, was found guilty on October 13, 2011, and sentenced to death on January 27, 2012.

Background

In the late afternoon of July 22, 2007, Jennifer Petit and her daughter Michaela went to a local grocery store in Cheshire. They picked up food for the evening meal which would be prepared by Michaela. They, along with Jennifer's other daughter Hayley, would be killed several hours later in a home invasion.

Home invasion

As Jennifer Hawke-Petit and Michaela Petit shopped at a local supermarket, unbeknownst to them, they had been targeted by Komisarjevsky, who followed them home, and planned to later rob the family by home invasion. Anticipating their deeds, Hayes and Komisarjevsky exchanged text messages that were later introduced in court. Hayes first messaged Komisarjevsky: "I'm chomping at the bit to get started. Need a margarita soon". Hayes then texts: "We still on?" Komisarjevsky replies "Yes". Hayes' next text asks, "Soon?", to which Komisarjevsky replied with "I'm putting the kid to bed hold your horses". Hayes then asserts "Dude, the horses want to get loose. LOL."

According to Hayes' confession, the two men planned to rob the house and flee the scene with the family bound and unharmed. Hayes attributed the outcome of the spree to a change in their plan. Upon their early morning arrival, they found William Petit sleeping on a couch on the porch. With a bat Komisarjevsky had found in the yard, he bludgeoned William and then restrained him in the basement at gun point. The children and their mother were each bound and locked in their respective rooms. Hayes says he and Komisarjevsky were not satisfied with their haul, and that a bankbook was found which had an available balance. Hayes convinced Jennifer to withdraw $15,000 from her line of credit. A gas station's video surveillance shows Hayes purchasing $10 worth of gasoline in two cans he had taken from the Petit home. After returning to the house, and unloading the gas, he took her to the bank. The prosecution later entered this as evidence of premeditation.

The bank surveillance cameras captured the transaction which shows Hawke-Petit in the morning of July 23 as she informed the teller of her situation. The teller then called 911 and reported the details to police. Hawke-Petit left the bank, was picked up by Hayes, who had escorted her there, and drove away. These actions were reported to the 911 dispatcher and recorded in real time. The teller stated that Hawke-Petit had indicated the assailants were "being nice", and she believed they only wanted money.

The Cheshire police response to the bank tellers' "urgent bid" began with assessing the situation and setting up a vehicle perimeter. These preliminary measures employed by the police exhausted more than half an hour and provided the time used by the assailants to conclude their modified plan.

During this time, Hayes and Komisarjevsky escalated the aggravated nature of their crimes. Komisarjevsky sexually assaulted the 11-year-old daughter, Michaela. Komisarjevsky, who had photographed the sexual assault of the youth on his cell phone, then provoked Hayes to rape Hawke-Petit. While Hayes was raping Hawke-Petit on the floor of her living room, Komisarjevsky entered the room announcing that William Petit had escaped. Hayes then strangled Hawke-Petit, doused her lifeless body and parts of the house including the daughters' rooms with gasoline. The daughters, while tied to their beds, had both been doused with gasoline; each had her head covered with a pillowcase. A fire was then ignited, and Hayes and Komisarjevsky fled the scene. 17-year-old Hayley and 11-year-old Michaela both died from smoke inhalation.

William Petit had been able to free himself, escape his confines, and call to a neighbor for help. The neighbor indicated that he did not recognize Petit, due to the severity of Petit's injuries. In court testimony, William Petit stated that he felt a "jolt of adrenaline" coupled with a need to escape upon hearing one of the perpetrators state: "Don't worry, it's going to be all over in a couple of minutes." Petit then told the jury, "I thought, it's now or never because in my mind at that moment, I thought they were going to shoot all of us."

Hayes and Komisarjevsky fled the scene using the Petit family car. They were immediately spotted by police surveillance, pursued by police, apprehended, and arrested one block away. The whole invasion lasted seven hours.

The scenario was revealed in a confession by Hayes just hours after the killings. Detectives testified that Hayes exuded a strong stench of gasoline throughout the interrogation. Each perpetrator was said to have blamed or implicated the other as the mastermind and driving force behind the spree. There were even attempts to blame William Petit as an accomplice. A diary kept by Komisarjevsky was entered into evidence which also blamed William. This account called him a "coward" and claimed he could have stopped the murders had he wanted to.

Victims

  • Jennifer Hawke-Petit, age 48, was a nurse and co-director of the health center at Cheshire Academy, a private boarding school. She met her husband, William Petit, in 1985 on a pediatric rotation at Children's Hospital when he was a third-year medical student at the University of Pittsburgh and she was a new nurse.

  • Hayley Petit, age 17, had just graduated from Miss Porter's School and was scheduled to attend Dartmouth College.

  • Michaela Petit, age 11, attended the Chase Collegiate School before her death.

  • William Petit, the sole survivor of the home invasion, is an endocrinologist in Cheshire. He survived when he escaped to a neighbor's house, despite his injuries. He has not returned to his medical practice since the murders, stating his desire to be active in the foundations set up to honor the memory of his deceased family

Perpetrators

Steven J. Hayes (born May 30, 1963, in Homestead, Florida) was found guilty on 16 out of 17 counts related to the home invasion murders on October 5, 2010. On November 8, 2010, the jury returned with a recommendation for Hayes to be executed by the State. He was formally sentenced to death by Superior Court Judge Jon C. Blue on December 2, 2010.

Hayes is an inmate of the Connecticut Department of Correction. His criminal history shows him sentenced for his first offense at the age of 16. He is incarcerated in the Northern Correctional Institution, which houses the state's death row for men, in Somers. The method of execution currently employed by Connecticut is lethal injection, and the state execution chamber is located in the Northern Correctional Institution in Somers.

Joshua A. Komisarjevsky (born August 10, 1980) was Hayes' accomplice in the home invasion and murder of William Petit's wife and two daughters. He was born in 1980 and adopted by the son of playwright Theodore Komisarjevsky. Komisarjevsky remained incarcerated at the Walker Reception Center in lieu of a $15 million bond until his conviction. His trial began September 19, 2011, and on October 13, 2011, he was convicted on all 17 counts. On December 9, 2011, the jury recommended the death penalty. On January 27, 2012 Judge Jon Blue sentenced Komisarjevsky to death by lethal injection.

Trial of Hayes

The jury in Hayes' case was composed of seven women and five men. In the guilt phase of the Hayes trial, the jury had deliberated for about four hours to arrive at its guilty verdicts.

The second phase of the trial began on October 18, 2010, in which the jurors who found Hayes guilty decided if Hayes should be executed or face life imprisonment. The second day of jury deliberations started on November 6, 2010. Hayes' attorney Thomas Ullman told the jury that a sentence of life in prison would be the harshest possible punishment for Hayes, because he is so tormented by his crimes and would be isolated in prison. "Life in prison without the possibility of release is the harshest penalty," Ullman said. "It is a fate worse than death. If you want to end his misery, put him to death," he added. "If you want him to suffer and carry that burden forever, the guilt, shame, and humiliation, sentence him to life without the possibility of release."

On November 8, 2010, the jury returned with a recommendation for Steven Hayes to be executed by the State. The jury recommended a death sentence on each of the six capital felony counts for which Hayes was convicted. In the sentencing phase portion of the trial, the jury deliberated for about 17 hours over the course of 3½ days before arriving at its decision.

Hayes had previously attempted to receive a life sentence in a plea bargain. After the verdict, Hayes' defense attorney stated: "Hayes smiled upon hearing the jury's recommendation of a death sentence." He then added: "He is thrilled. He's very happy with the verdict. That's what he's wanted all along."

The Connecticut state judicial branch, for the first time in state history, offered post-traumatic stress assistance to jurors who served in the triple-murder trial. Because the jurors were required to look at disturbing images and hear grisly testimony, during the two-month trial, their service necessitated these actions. A spokesperson confirmed that such post-traumatic assistance has never been done before by the state’s judicial branch.

On December 2, 2010, after Hayes apologized for the pain and suffering he had caused to the Petit family and added that "Death for me will be a welcome relief and I hope it will bring some peace and comfort to those who I have hurt so much," presiding Judge Jon Blue formally imposed six death sentences, one for each of the capital charges Hayes was convicted of; Blue then added a sentence of 106 years for other crimes Hayes committed during the home invasion, including kidnapping, burglary, and assault, before finishing with, "This is a terrible sentence, but is, in truth, a sentence you wrote for yourself in flames. May God have mercy on your soul." The judge also gave Hayes an official execution date of May 27, 2011; Blue said that this date was a formality, because if Hayes appeals his case, his execution could be delayed for decades.

Trial of Komisarjevsky

Komisarjevsky was found guilty on October 13, 2011. On December 9, 2011, the jury recommended the death penalty. On January 27, 2012, Komisarjevsky was sentenced to death by lethal injection. During the hearing, Komisarjevsky insisted he did not intend to kill anyone and spoke about the shame, hurt and disappointment he had caused: "I will never find peace within. My life will be a continuation of the hurt I caused. The clock is now ticking and I owe a debt I cannot repay." He said that forgiveness was not his to have, "and he needs to forgive his worst enemy - himself." Judge Blue set July 20, 2012, as Komisarjevsky's execution date.

Capital punishment in Connecticut

In 2009, the Connecticut General Assembly sent legislation to abolish the state's death penalty to Governor M. Jodi Rell ostensibly to be signed into law. However, on June 5, 2009, Rell vetoed the bill instead and cited the Cheshire murders as an exemplary reason for doing so. On November 8, 2010, Rell issued the following statement regarding the jury's recommendation of a sentence of death for Hayes:

The crimes that were committed on that brutal July night were so far out of the range of normal understanding that now, more than three years later, we still find it difficult to accept that they happened in one of our communities. I have long believed that there are certain crimes so heinous, so depraved, that society is best served by imposing the ultimate sanction on the criminal. Steven Hayes stands convicted of such crimes – and today the jury has recommended that he should be subjected to the death penalty. I agree.

Aftermath

In 2007, John Carpenter, an employee of the Chase Collegiate School, ran the New York City Marathon, raising $8,554 for the "Miles for Michaela" campaign, a scholarship benefit.

In 2007, William Petit established the Michaela Rose Petit '14 Scholarship Fund of the Chase Collegiate School. He also established the Hayley's Hope & Michaela's Miracle MS Memorial Fund.

On January 6, 2008, over 130,000 luminaria candles were lit in front of thousands of homes across Cheshire in "Cheshire Lights of Hope", a fundraiser for multiple sclerosis and a tribute to the Petit family. Founded by local couple, Don and Jenifer Walsh, the event raised over $100,000 for Hayley's Hope and Michaela's Miracle Memorial funds.

On October 5, 2010, the murder and its aftermath were featured on the newsmagazine show Dateline NBC, in a segment entitled "The Family on Sorghum Mill Drive".

On December 9, 2010 William Petit appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show in a full hour episode about the murders of his family and the work of the Petit Family Foundation established.

Wikipedia.org

 
 

Petit Family Murderer Confesses to Killing 17 Women

By Anne-Marie Dorning

Oct. 24, 2011

A death row inmate has written a series of letters bragging that he has killed 17 women, made a snuff film documenting one of his alleged murders and often kept their shoes as morbid trophies.

The letters were written by Steven Hayes, convicted last year of murdering Jennifer Hawke-Petit, 48, and her two daughters, Hayley, 17, and Michaela, 11, during a Connecticut home invasion that turned into a gruesome rape and triple murder. The only person to survive the 2007 attack was Dr. William Petit, who was beaten with a baseball bat and tied to a pole in the basement.

The letters came to light when lawyers for Hayes' accomplice Joshua Komisarjevsky argued that the existence of the letters were grounds for a mistrial. Komisarjevsky was convicted earlier this month of taking part in the Petit murders.

Judge Jon C. Blue, who denied the request for a mistrial, has presided over both Hayes' and Komisarjevsky's trials and expressed some skepticism about the veracity of the claims in Hayes letter. If true, they would make Hayes responsible for 17 unsolved murders in New England between the early 1980's and 2007.

The prosecutor's office did not immediately respond to calls from ABC News about the supposed 17 murders.

The letters, written to a woman named Lynn in Wilson, N.C., were intercepted by the Connecticut Department of Corrections in early October and handed over to prosecutors. A copy of one letter was leaked to the New Haven Register which published excerpts over the weekend.

The gruesome and shocking revelations contained in Hayes' letters included a detailed description of the death row inmate's alleged first kill.

"I was driving home from a bar when I noticed this girl hitchhiking at the entrance to the highway. She was short, hot and the perfect victim," wrote Hayes in one of the excerpts published in the New Haven Register. Hayes claimed to have abducted the woman, taken her to a hotel and sexually assaulted her before asphyxiating the woman. Her identity is unknown.

He described another victim as a "drunk chick" he also picked up hitchhiking. Hayes said he tied her up to his bed for an entire weekend before killing her. "I got most of it on tape, 16 hours, 2 CD's. By far the best snuff film ever created," he boasted.

In the letters, according to the New Haven Register, Hayes also claimed to have raped dozens of women after using a date-rape drug to knock them out.

Hayes claimed his victims were all between the ages of 14 and 25. In the letter, according to the Register, Hayes described the emotional pleasure he received from the "pain and emotional abuse" his victim went through.

Hayes also claimed to have "trophies" from all of his 17 victims.

"The 17 kill trophies meant the most to me. Each trophy was one of a kind and completely specific to each victim," wrote Hayes. The trophies turned out to be sneakers. During Komisarjevsky's trial, it came to light that a police search of Hayes' home turned up a number of women's sneakers.

In his letters, Hayes criticized Komisarjevsky for his lack of ruthlessness. "I've searched my whole life for someone who could embrace and had the capacity for evil as I possess?I thought I finally found it in Josh. But events show Josh, while (he) had the proper evil intent, lacked in the most serious aspects, commitment and control."

It is possible the letters could be heard in court this week during the death penalty phase of Joshua Komisarjevsky's trial which begins Tuesday. The defense has argued that Komisarjevsky does not deserve the death penalty because it was Hayes who was responsible for the blood bath.

If sentenced to death, Komisarjevsky would join Hayes on Connecticut's death row.

 
 

Steven Hayes sentenced to death in Connecticut home invasion, murders of mom, daughters of Dr. Petit

By Aliyah Shahid - NYDailyNews.com

December 2, 2010

Steven Hayes will never see the light of day again.

The 47-year-old paroled burglar was sentenced to death on Thursday for murdering a mother and her two daughters in a horrific, high-profile 2007 home invasion in Connecticut.

The cold-blooded killer apologized to the court before hearing his sentence that had been recommended by the jury that convicted him last month.

"I am deeply sorry for what I have done and the pain I have caused," Hayes said. "My actions have hurt so many people, affected so many lives, caused so much pain. I am tormented and have nightmares about what happened in that house. Death will be a welcome relief."

New Haven Superior Court Judge Jon Blue did not have any sympathy for Hayes.

"This is a terrible sentence, but is, in truth, a sentence you wrote for yourself in flames," Blue told the convict.

The slayings took place in the affluent New Haven suburb of Cheshire in the middle of the night on July 23, 2007.

According to prosecutors, Hayes and his partner-in-crime, Joshua Komisarjevsky, stormed into the home of William Petit; his wife Jennifer Hawke-Petit; and his daughters, 17-year-old Hayley and 11-year-old Michaela.

Authorities said Komisarjevsky,  who will be tried next year,  spotted the mother and two daughters at a grocery store, followed them home and returned later with Hayes.

They beat the girl's father,  who managed to escape after being tied to a pole in the basement . They also forced Hawke-Petit to take out money from a bank before raping and choking her to death.

The men then tied the daughters to a bed, placed pillow covers over their heads and poured gasoline on them before setting the house on fire, authorities added. Both girls died from smoke inhalation, and one of the daughters was sexually assaulted.

Before the sentence, Petit told the court that he had contemplated suicide after the death of his family.

"I miss my entire family, my home, everything we had together," Petit said.

Hayes will join nine other men on Connecticut’s  Death  Row. The state has only executed one man since 1960, so Hayes is likely to spend years --probably decades -- in prison.

 
 

Steven Hayes Smiles When Sentenced to Death for the Deadly Home Invasion

By Emily Friedman and Anne-Marie Dorning - ABCNews.go.com

Nov. 8, 2010

Steven Hayes smiled as he was sentenced to death by a Connecticut jury today for his role in the deadly 2007 home invasion that killed Jennifer Hawke-Petit and her two daughters.

Lawyers for Hayes said that their client was "happy with the verdict" and had "got what he wanted."

"The fact of the matter is that a life sentence without the possibility of release is the most brutal punishment," said Thomas Ullmann. "For [Hayes], this is an easy way out."

The jury unanimously found the death penalty the appropriate punishment for Hayes' role in the triple murders. He was convicted of the murders last month, and a separate jury was empaneled to decided whether he should be condemned to death or spend the rest of his life in prison.

The verdict came halfway through day four of deliberation for the jury that spent the whole weekend holed up in a New Haven courtroom discussing the fate of Hayes, 47.

As the verdict was read, members of the Petit family, including Dr. William Petit, held their heads in their hands. While no outburst of emotion was heard, a court marshal offered a box of tissues to the Petit family.

Dr. Petit, the husband and father of the victims, was badly beaten with a bat, but was the only person to survive the attack on his Cheshire, Conn., home.

In an emotional press conference outside the courthouse, Dr. Petit told reporters that he was pleased justice was served.

"We all know that God will be the final arbiter and I think the defendant faces far more serious punishments from the Lord than he can ever face from mankind," he said.

"There were many, many sleepless nights and a lot of worry and agitation and a lot of tears," he said of the trial, which he attended everyday along with other members of his family and his wife's family.

Asked what he was thinking when the death penalty verdict was read, Dr. Petit answered, "I was crying for loss."

"Michaela was an 11-year-old little girl tortured and killed in her own bedroom, surrounded by stuffed animals," said Dr. Petit, breaking down as he spoke. "Hayley had a great future. She was a strong and courageous person, and Jennifer helped so many kids."

Dr. William Petit Reacts to Steven Hayes' Death Sentence

Dr. Petit said there were days he struggled to get out of bed or get his picture taken on the courthouse steps for the "one hundred thousandth time."

"I didn't want to be here and listen to things that were being said," he said. "Thousands of times I wanted to jump up and scream out."

Of the recent days he spent awaiting the jury's ruling on Hayes' fate, Dr. Petit said he felt "so terrible" that he didn't know if he "wanted to cry or just die."

Dr. Petit also said that he was once offended when reporters asked him if a death penalty would give him closure on his family's brutal murder, saying today that he believes whoever "came up with the concept of closure is an imbecile."

"There is never closure, there is a hole. A hole with jagged edges and over time the edges may smooth out a little bit, but the hole in your heart and the hole in your soul is still there," he said.

Dr. Petit said that he believes the case against Hayes' accused accomplice, Joshua Komisarjevsky, will be a "different case" but is sure the evidence is "just as strong."

"I think it will be just as ugly and just as painful, unfortunately," he said.

As the verdict was read, Hayes, wearing a striped blue and burgundy shirt, sat flanked by two lawyers as he stared directly at the jurors.

Jurors stood while the judge read the verdict and one female juror dabbed away tears and she looked directly at the Petit family. Jurors were spotted comforting one another as the verdict was read.

The judge polled the 12 jurors to be sure that each agreed on the sentencing, which is expected to be imposed by Judge Jon Blue on Dec. 2.

Blue told jurors that while they were free to speak about their experience they should try to consider "deliberations private."

Dismissing the jury, Blue told the group, "You have done something many people thought impossible."

"I now dismiss you with my profound thanks," the judge said.

Gov. Jodi Rell Agrees With Death Sentence for Steven Hayes

Hayes is convicted of raping and choking Hawke-Petit to death and accused accomplice Komisarjevsky is charged with sexually assaulting 11-year-old Michaela Petit. Michaela and her older sister Hayley, 17, died after they were tied to their beds, doused with gasoline and the house was set on fire.

Together, prosecutors say, they ambushed the Petit family on a summer night after Komisarjevsky followed Hawke-Petit and Michaela home from a grocery store and targeted the family as wealthy.

The two intended to rob the family, but after finding little cash in the house they held the family captive for hours before driving Hawke-Petit to the bank to withdraw $15,000. Hawke-Petit was seen on the bank's surveillance system pleading with the teller to help her family.

Prosecutors alleged that Komisarjevsky raped Michaela, later forcing her to take a shower before tying her to her bed. During Hayes' trial, prosecutors argued that he raped Hawke-Petit before strangling her. As the two girls lay tied to their beds with Hawke-Petit dead on the lower floor of the house, Hayes and Komisarjevsky set fire to the house, prosecutors said, pouring gasoline on and around the girls' bed before fleeing.

Komisarjevsky, 30, is scheduled to stand trial early next year.

Connecticut Gov. M. Jodi Rell released a statement on Hayes' verdict.

"The crimes that were committed on that brutal July night were so far out of the range of normal understanding that now, more than three years later, we still find it difficult to accept that they happened in one of our communities," said Rell.

"I have long believed that there are certain crimes so heinous, so depraved, that society is best served by imposing the ultimate sanction on the criminal. Steven Hayes stands convicted of such crimes – and today the jury has recommended that he should be subjected to the death penalty. I agree," said Rell.

Rell also reached out to the Petit family and the jurors, who she said have "seen and heard terrible things and faced extremely difficult choices."

"They have served with honor and deserve our appreciation," said Rell.

Hayes will join nine other men who currently await execution on Connecticut's death row, which is housed in the Northern Correctional Institution in Somers, Conn.

The last inmate to be executed in Connecticut was serial killer Michael Ross in 2005.

The jury had struggled during deliberations to agree on a sentence for Hayes. On the first day of deliberations the jurors sent a note to the judge asking, "What does it mean to unanimously find the existence of a statutory mitigating
factor?"

After meeting with the judge and resuming deliberations, a second note sought additional clarification on mitigating factors, specifically on mental capacity and "conforming to law."

Mitigating circumstances would allow the jurors to sentence Hayes to life in prison rather than to be executed.

Hayes' lawyers had argued that he should be spared execution because the ringleader was Komisarjevsky who escalated the violence instead of carrying out a house robbery as originally planned. The lawyers also argued that Hayes had expressed remorse for the crime and wanted to be executed.

Steven Hayes Condemned to Death Row

In order for Hayes to be sentenced to death, the jury had to have found Hayes guilty of several aggravating factors beyond just committing the crime, according to the state.

Those aggravating factors included committing the murders during the commission of third-degree burglary as well as committing the offenses in a "heinous manner, extreme physical or psychological pain above and beyond that which was necessary" and with "grave risk."

John Webster, the managing director of the National Prison and Sentencing Consultants Inc., said that Hayes' life on death row will be lonely, with minimal contact with the outside world.

"Death row on Somers is very isolated, there is very little human contact," said Webster.

 
 

'Things got out of control': Chilling confession of Connecticut massacre 'killer'

By David Gardner - DailyMail.co.uk

September 23, 2010

One of the men on trial for the home invasion murders of a mother and two daughters claimed they had a chilling pact to rape their terrified victims.

Crack addict Steven Hayes told police he raped Jennifer Hawke-Petit on the floor of her Connecticut living room ‘to square things up’ after his partner sexually assaulted her eleven-year-old daughter.

The nightmare scenario was revealed in an alleged confession by Hayes just hours after the July 2007 killings.

After holding the family captive for hours, the intruders forced Mrs Hawke-Petit to draw $15,000 from her bank account and then strangled her to death before leaving her children tied to their beds to die in their burning house.

Dr William Petit, the sole survivor, hung his head as Detective Anthony Buglione told a jury in New Haven, Connecticut, that Hayes claimed his plan was to break into a home, tie up the residents, steal their money and flee.

But then Hayes, 47, told him: ‘Things got out of control.’

In the first detailed account of the horrific home invasion, the detective said the emotionless Hayes claimed he carried out the raid because ‘his life sucked – no money, not enough to eat...

‘His mother told him he couldn’t use the car and gave him until the end of the week to move out.

'There was no emotion,' added Detective Buglione. 'He was pretty much as I described it - flat. Very quiet.'

He added that Hayes still smelled from gas after sparking the deadly blaze.

According to Detective Buglione, Hayes and his 29-year-old co-defendant, Joshua Komisarjevsky  met 18 months prior at a halfway house where they had attended alcohol and drug abuse meetings together.

They hatched a plan to rob a home. The men ended up in an upscale neighbourhood in Cheshire, Connecticut and the house they picked had a light on the rear porch, he said.

Police say Hayes told them they saw a man sleeping on a couch on the porch, and Komisarjevsky hit him four or five with a baseball bat they found at the home.

‘He said the man started screaming and there was a lot of blood,’ Detective Buglione testified.

They told him to be quiet and they were only there for the money.

But when they didn't find as much money as they had hoped, they went upstairs for more, where they found Mrs Hawke-Petit, 48, and daughters Hayley, seventeen, and Michaela, eleven.

They victims were tied up in separate bedrooms with pillow cases over their heads.

It was at that point the plan changed, Hayes allegedly told police.

The intruders found a bank book with $20,000 to $30,000 in the account, and decided to take the mother to the bank and have her withdraw some of it. Hayes also went to a gas station to fill some gas containers they found at the house.

Hayes said while he took the mother to the bank, Komisarjevsky was supposed to put the family members in a car and then they would burn the house to destroy any evidence.

But he said that when he got back, Komisarjevsky inferred he had sex with the younger girl and told Hayes to have sex with the mother to make them even.

Hayes told police he had sex with Mrs Hawke-Petit before Komisarjevsky came into the room and told him Dr. Petit had escaped and the police were coming. 

Hayes said he smelled gasoline and the men grabbed some jewelry and the money and were arrested as they fled.

Detective Buglione said Hayes made no mention that the house had been torched, killing all three female victims.

Sgt. Karen Gabianelli testified earlier that some of the victims' belongings were found with the suspects.

Komisarjevsky has also been charged in the July 23, 2007 killings and will be tried once Hayes' trial is completed.

 

 

 
 
 
 
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