October 18th, 2010
10:25 PM ET

Jurors to decide on death sentence in home invasion

A man convicted of killing a mother and her two daughters during a 2007 Connecticut home invasion can be "quite likable," but has struggled with drug addiction for years, a defense attorney told jurors Monday.

The same jurors who convicted Steven Hayes of capital murder and other charges convened Monday for Hayes' penalty phase. They will decide whether he should be sentenced to death for the slayings of Jennifer Hawke-Petit and her daughters, 17-year-old Hayley Petit and 11-year-old Michaela Petit.

Attorney Patrick Culligan told jurors in his opening statement they will hear testimony from "people who know Steve Hayes, whose lives have crossed paths with Steven Hayes ... to try to give you some insight, some understanding of who Steven Hayes was prior to the crimes of July 23, 2007." Some of the testimony, he warned, will not be flattering to Hayes, but he said that despite his long history of criminal convictions and drug abuse, Hayes could be "quite likable."

"There is no presumption at this point that the death penalty is the appropriate punishment," Culligan said. "... You must keep an open mind."

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Filed under: Connecticut • Crime • Home invasion
soundoff (24 Responses)
  1. Canuck

    Off with his head

    October 19, 2010 at 7:05 am | Report abuse |
  2. Ron

    Without question, on this one, death penalty should be enforced.

    October 19, 2010 at 8:09 am | Report abuse |
  3. Anvilbreaker

    i hope that the death penalty goes horribly wrong and they have to administer it 3 times, many people suffer from drug addiction and dont kill people. byebye buddy you will be seated in section a row 3 seat 11 in HELL

    October 19, 2010 at 10:01 am | Report abuse |
  4. Frank

    Both men are sadistic pyscopaths.They need to be hanged by the neck so they linger for awhile so they feel the pain of dying like the 2 lovely girls and their disabled mother felt.

    October 19, 2010 at 10:41 am | Report abuse |
  5. kirk merrifield

    we definitly need to kill theese two. Like jim says if you killed them the next day, alot , but not all will get it, then anyone commiting theese crimes has no respect for his /her life, and putting them down IS the right thing. some may get thrown in the grinder, but a good omelette , takes breaking a few good eggs. on the other hand, look at texas piece of shat D.A., sending innocent, (or at least very questionable cases) people to die, for advancement of career, are no better than the trash they convict

    October 19, 2010 at 11:19 am | Report abuse |
  6. KEN

    The death penality was established for the likes of this guy

    October 19, 2010 at 1:06 pm | Report abuse |
  7. qhapaqinka

    They should be publicly burned alive.

    October 21, 2010 at 7:29 am | Report abuse |
  8. T-2000

    I think the father had something to do with this.

    October 23, 2010 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Serge

    Kill them slowly! Death ONLY for this ANIMALS! Death n Hell to them!

    October 23, 2010 at 3:29 pm | Report abuse |
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