June 17, 2016

Death Sentences For Depraved 2007 Connecticut Multiple Rape, Murder, Arson Convictions Revoked

Victims: Dr. William Petit (left) said it's an 'insult' that Hayes, who raped and murdered his wife Jennifer Hawke-Petit (right) and killed daughters Michaela (center-bottom), 11, and Hayley (center-top), 17, won't be executed.

[From article]
The Connecticut man who lost his wife and daughters in a brutal home invasion in 2007 said Wednesday it was 'sad' one of the killers had his death sentence revoked to comply with new state laws.
Dr. William Petit was tied up in the basement of his New Haven home during the July 23, 2007 attack and almost beaten to death. He could only listen as his wife was raped and murdered by Steven Hayes. Petit managed to flee to a neighbor's home as his daughters perished in the fire Hayes lit.
'It is a very sad day when a prolonged trial and decision and sentencing by a jury that took 4.5 months to seat is overturned by a legislature that ignores the wishes of the people of CT,' he said in a text message via Twitter on Wednesday.
He added: 'The insult is compounded by a Supreme Court that rules on not one but 2 cases based on personal opinions and politics and not the law.'

Tragic: Wolfe-Petit was taken to a bank to withdraw money for the robbers before her murder, while her daughters were tied to their beds. She told the cashier to call the police, but they arrived too late.

Hayes was sentenced to death in 2010 after being convicted of murder, first-degree kidnapping, first-degree sexual assault and 13 other counts.
Co-defendant Joshua Komisarjevsky was also sentenced to death in 2011.
But in 2012 the Connecticut House of Representatives voted to repeal capital punishment, stopping it from being handed out in future cases.
Originally, the 11 people on death row - including Hayes and Komisarjevsky - were still to face execution.
But in August last year that was deemed to be 'cruel and unusual punishment' and their death sentences were commuted.
Hayes's trial, which ended Wednesday is the first in a series deciding what will be done with those men. Komisarjevsky and the other nine men who were on death row have yet to face theirs.
Petit and his family declined to make a statement in court, saying they had already said what needed to be said during the trial, as did Hayes and his public defender Thomas Ullmann.
Superior Court judge Jon C. Blue concluded: 'With the gravity of these crimes and the depravity of your character, nothing more needs to be said.'
He then handed down six consecutive sentences of life without possibility of parole, followed by a total of 106 years for Hayes's crimes.
Hayes and Komisarjevsky committed their crimes in July 2007, when a home-invasion robbery spiraled into a nightmarish litany of rape, child abuse and murder.
The pair forced their way into Petit's home and beat him badly with a baseball bat before tying him up in the basement of his house, which he shared with his wife Jennifer Hawke-Petit, 48, and their daughters Hayley, 17, and Michaela, 11.
The pair demanded money from Petit, then 50, and ransacked his home - but when they found a banking book with $30,000 in it, they changed their mind.
Instead, they decided they would take Hawke-Petit to a bank, and force her to withdraw $15,000. She did, and told the teller what was happening.
But the police did not arrive in time for what happened next.
Once back home, Hayes raped Hawke-Petit, then strangled her to death. Petit, still tied up in the basement, could only listen.
When he heard one of the men say that it 'it will all be over soon,' Petit realized that they were all going to be killed and managed to break the bonds on his hands - but not those on his feet - and crawl to his neighbor's house.
The doctor was so bloodied and disfigured by his beating that his neighbor of 18 years didn't even recognize him at first.

Horror: Hayes and friend Joshua Komisarjevsky raided the Petits' home (pictured after the invasion) in July 2007. They tied Petit up in the basement, then Hayes raped Hawke-Petit before strangling her to death.

As Petit was crawling to safety, his daughters were suffering. They had been tied to their beds, with pillowcases placed over their heads.
Komisarjevsky raped 11-year-old Michaela - he later told authorities he thought she was 16 or 17 - and then Hayes splashed gasoline around the house and set it ablaze.
In journal entries read in court during the trial, Komisarjevsky wrote that he 'resented' the idea that people believe he raped Michaela, but admitting he did sexually assault her and then 'ejaculated onto her' in a 'vulgar display of power.'
He also took photos of her after the assault.
Hayley was able to free herself, but died in the hallway due to the superheated fumes. Michaela's body was found on her bed. It could not be determined how she died.
The suspects then fled the house, ramming through a police barricade with the Petits' vehicle, before being apprehended.
Facing the prospect of execution in 2013, Hayes told The New Haven Register: '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.'
[. . .]
Since the deaths of his daughters and wife in 2007, Petit has remarried. He and his wife Christine had a son, William Petit III, in 2013.
But he has said he will never come to terms with the loss of his first family.
[. . .]
In May he began a run for state legislature.


'It's an insult': Disbelief of William Petit who was forced to listen to wife being raped and killed and his daughters burned alive as Connecticut court overturns killer's execution because it's 'cruel'
Steve Hayes was convicted on 16 counts, including murder, in 2010
He was put on death row, but in 2012 Connecticut revoked its death penalty
And in 2015 he and ten others had their death sentences commuted
Now he's been sentenced to six life sentences plus 106 years in prison
In 2007 Hayes and Joshua Komisarjevsky invaded the Petit home
Dr. William Petit was tied up in his basement while Hayes raped his wife
He then strangled her to death while Komisarjevsky raped Michaela, 11
Michaela and sister Hayley, 17, were tied to beds while the house burned
Dr. Petit was nearly beaten to death but managed to escape to a neighbor's home but his daughters died
Komisarjevsky and nine others on death row have yet to be re-sentenced
PUBLISHED: 21:47 EST, 15 June 2016 | UPDATED: 06:32 EST, 16 June 2016

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