Conn. man gets death sentence in triple murder

Posted Nov. 08, 2010, at 12:38 p.m.
Dr. William A. Petit Jr., left, leaves with his sister Johanna Chapman, center, after jury deliberation Sunday, Nov. 7, 2010, at the New Haven, Conn., County Courthouse. Petit is the sole survivor of the 2007 Cheshire, Conn., home invasion where his wife, Jennifer Hawke-Petit and their daughters, Hayley and Michaela, were murdered. Steven Hayes has been convicted in the triple murder, and the penalty phase of the trial will continue Monday.  (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)
AP
Dr. William A. Petit Jr., left, leaves with his sister Johanna Chapman, center, after jury deliberation Sunday, Nov. 7, 2010, at the New Haven, Conn., County Courthouse. Petit is the sole survivor of the 2007 Cheshire, Conn., home invasion where his wife, Jennifer Hawke-Petit and their daughters, Hayley and Michaela, were murdered. Steven Hayes has been convicted in the triple murder, and the penalty phase of the trial will continue Monday. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)

NEW HAVEN, Conn. — A Connecticut man will be sentenced to death for a night of terror inside a suburban home in which a woman was strangled and her two daughters tied to their beds, doused in gasoline and left to die in a fire.

A jury decided Monday that Steven Hayes should receive the death penalty. Jurors deliberated for more than three days in New Haven Superior Court. The judge will impose the sentence Dec. 2.

Hayes’ attorneys tried to persuade the jury to spare his life by portraying him as a clumsy, drug-addicted thief who never committed violence until the 2007 home invasion with another paroled burglar. They said Hayes’s co-defendant, Joshua Komisarjevsky (koh-mih-sar-JEV’-skee), escalated the violence. They say Hayes was remorseful.

But prosecutors said both men were equally responsible.

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