Man Found Guilty in Connecticut Home Invasion Murder

By: CBS
By: CBS

A jury has made a decision in a brutal home invasion murder in New Haven,Conn.

It took a jury less than five hours to return a guilty verdict against Steven Hayes in the murder and sexual assault of Jennifer Hawke-Petit and her daughters. Her husband, William survived, after he was beaten with a baseball bat.

"There’s some relief but my family is still gone,” he said. “It doesn’t bring ‘em back."

The women were apparently targeted while grocery shopping. Then prosecutors say Hayes and co-defendant Joshua Komisarjefsky followed them to their Connecticut home . Jennifer was sent to the bank to withdraw $15,000 while the family was tied up at the home.

She confided in the bank teller.

In a 911 call, the bank teller said, “We have a lady who is in our bank right now who says her husband and children are being held at their house."

When Hawke-Petit returned home she was raped then strangled. Her 11 year old, Michaela, was also sexually assaulted. Her daughters were then tied up, doused with gasoline and the house was set on fire.

Despite the gruesome and disturbing testimony, Dr. Petit was in court most every day

"Most of you out here are good human beings,” he said. “I think most of you would do the same thing for your families if your family was destroyed by evil."

Both defendants wanted a plea deal but were turned down. Now Steven Hayes faces the death penalty.

“Could this second phase be substantially longer?” said attorney John Walkley. “I would say so. If they're going to put on various experts, there could be medical, psychiatric."

Hayes’ sentencing begins in two weeks.

The second defendant in the case goes on trial next year.


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