Romantic Note Interrupts Conn. Home Invasion Trial

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP/CBS 2) —Attorneys finished presenting evidence Monday aimed at persuading a jury to spare a Connecticut man the death penalty for killing three people in a deadly home invasion by reminding jurors that he had offered to plead guilty before the trial in exchange for a life sentence.

The defense for Steven Hayes was preparing to rest their case Monday afternoon after finishing with the testimony of a psychiatrist.

Just before they did, the judge refused to dismiss an alternate juror who showed romantic interest in a court marshal. Judge Jon Blue said a “middle school note” the juror attempted to pass to the security officer Friday was “spectacularly poor judgment” but did not affect her impartiality.

A clerk intercepted the note. The juror is the last alternate and Blue acknowledged she was needed.

“Obviously this is embarrassing,” Blue told the juror. “I’m a romantic at heart.”

The juror, who had passed the note on a napkin to another juror late Friday suggesting a date with the court official, apologized and said she would be able to pay attention to evidence.

A defense lawyer sought to have the juror dismissed, calling the note “disturbing” in a case involving a potential death sentence and saying it showed she was not focusing her attention on the evidence. Prosecutors opposed the motion, saying the juror had been paying attention.

The judge dismissed a juror Friday who was overheard making a derogatory comment to another juror.

Hayes was convicted of killing a Cheshire woman and her two daughters in a home invasion in 2007. The jury is weighing whether he should be put to death or receive a life sentence.

Psychiatrist Dr. Eric Goldsmith finished testifying Monday as the final defense witness.

Hayes’ attorneys were closing out their case by having a clerk read letters they had written before the trial offering to have Hayes plead guilty in exchange for a life sentence, saying the move would avoid the trauma of a trial. They also introduced a letter Hayes wrote his son Steven in 2005 in which he focused on how his drug addiction ruined his life and had hurt his son.

“Steven, I love you and I hope one day to have a chance to make it up to you,” Hayes wrote.

Prosecutors are expected to call their first rebuttal witness Tuesday.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

  • Steve

    Kim – you have the right idea.
    These suspects make me sick to my stomach. The horrible murders aside, these guys deserve to be tied up and burned to death, just for the rapes.
    Let’s get it over with – time to incinerate the trash (and I pray for any nut-job who is against abortion even in the case of rape – we should stomp out rapist DNA from the human gene pool).

  • JD

    Sigumund Fruit is just what he is – a fruit.
    I thinkk that this low life killer should die the same way as Michaela died tied to the bed in flames.
    OR give him to Dr. Petit.

  • fern

    If Dr Petit would come to court and shoot the man in the face, I would say let him go free, besides that I’m still against the death penalty as it has never and never will resolve anything, it isn’t logical and the victims will not come back.

  • kim

    If they burned this guy alive at the stake, I would pay to see it.

    Monsters are alive in this world…and here’s the proof.

    Evil evil wicked demons.

    Put him to death.

    I pray everyday for Dr. Pettit.

  • Jojo

    @Sigmund Fruit, you are a total nut. This guy is as guility as they come. He murdered 3 people and raped an 11 year old child and her mother.



    • Jean

      If you truly have been following the details of this case, you would know that this guy was arrested covered in gasoline after pouring it on the bodies and the house. This guy is as guilty as they come and you sir need to re-read and think again about this case.

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