After deliberating for about four hours over two days, a jury Tuesday convicted a 47-year-old man of capital murder in the deaths of three members of a Connecticut family in a 2007 home invasion.
Steven Hayes was convicted on 16 of the 17 charges against him in connection with the deaths of Jennifer Hawke-Petit and her two daughters, including nine counts of murder and capital murder and four counts of kidnapping. The jurors acquitted him of an arson charge in the burning of the family’s home.
As the verdicts were read, Hayes stood at the defense table, looking down. Some members of the Petit family embraced, while others seemed close to tears.
The killings took place in the New Haven suburb of Cheshire early on July 23, 2007. The home of Dr. William Petit, his wife, Hawke-Petit, and their two daughters was invaded in the middle of the night by Hayes and co-defendant Joshua Komisarjevsky, prosecutors say. Komisarjevsky will be tried separately.
“There is some relief, but my family is still gone,” Petit told reporters after the verdict. “It doesn’t bring them back. It doesn’t bring back the home that we had.”