Steven Hayes, Convicted of Connecticut Triple Murder, Gets Death Penalty

Today jurors sentenced to death Steven Hayes, the man who, in a crime called "one of the worst in Connecticut history" kidnapped and murdered Connecticut woman Jennifer Hawke-Petit and her daughters, Hayley (17) and Michaela (11), during a seven-hour invasion of their home in July 2007.

Reports the Hartford Courant:

The jury sentenced Hayes to death on all six possible death-penalty counts: killing Hawke-Petit and Michaela and Hayley in the course of a single action; killing a child under the age of 16; killing Hawke-Petit in the course of a kidnapping; killing Hayley in the course of a kidnapping; killing Michaela in the course of a kidnapping; and killing Hawke-Petit in the course of a sexual assault.

Hayes' defense argued that killing a reportedly suicidal Hayes would only end his torment, and that he should therefore be spared the death penalty. But his own brother, Matthew Hayes, portrayed Steven as "a conniving, sadistic, violent thief," who had at one point hooked Matthew to a garage door by his belt and raised the door up and down, and held Matthew's hand to a red-hot burner.

Hayes, who was a parolee at the time of the 2007 murders, now faces death by lethal injection, likely pending years of appeals.

[via Hartford Courant, NYT]


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