Monday, November 8, 2010

Death Penalty in CT for Horror Trial

Did you hear about Steven Hayes' verdict? He's been sentenced to the death penalty.

Mug shots of Hayes and Komisarjevsky
In case you have no idea what I'm talking about, Steven Hayes and Joshua Komisarjevsky are being charged with murder of Jennifer Hawke-Petit (48), Hayley Petit (17) and Michaela Petit (11). The terribly sad and tragic incident began when Komisarjevsky saw Hawke-Petit and her two daughters at Stop and Shop, followed them home, and then came back with Hayes in the middle of the night to rob their home. They invaded the home of the Petit family in Chesire, CT on July 23, 2007 and murdered Dr William Petit's wife and two daughters. 

They found Dr Petit asleep on the back porch, hit him with a baseball bat, tied his ankles and hands and then went on into the house to find valuables. When they found almost nothing they tied his wife and two daughters up in separate rooms with a pillowcase over their head, and Dr Petit down in the basement. The two men found bank statements with accounts of $20,000 and $30,000, so they decided to wait until the morning to take Hawke-Pitt to the bank.

When at the bank, Hawke-Pitt was to withdraw $15,000. Hayes took her to the bank while Komisarjevsky remained at the house with the two daughters. Hawke-Pitt managed to alert the clerk that the two men were holding her family hostage and the clerk called the police. Local police took criticism for not responding quickly enough; they showed up to the house 30 minutes after the clerk called. The police responded that they were surrounding the area with a SWAT team before approaching the house.
Petit Family, June 2007

When back at the house, Hayes and Komisarjevsky raped and strangled Hawke-Pitt and burned the house down with the two daughters in it. They both died of smoke inhalation. There was also evidence that Michaela had also been raped. Dr Petit managed escaped to alert the cops. When he reached his neighbors' home they claimed he was unrecognizable because of how badly he had been beaten.

Hayes and Komisarjevsky were caught when they ran into a police baracade. 

Over three years later the men are facing trial, and the first, Steven Hayes, has been sentenced to the death penalty. He will be joining nine other men awaiting execution. The last time somebody was executed in Connecticut was serial killer Michael Ross in 2005.

Governor Jodi Rell agrees with the sentence. "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."


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