NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) — Attorneys for a Connecticut man convicted of a deadly home invasion are challenging a judge’s decision to replace a regular juror with an alternate to determine his sentence.

A hearing will be held Wednesday in New Haven on the motion. The jury is expected to begin deliberations Friday on whether Steven Hayes should get the death sentence or life in prison for killing a woman and her two daughters in 2007 in Cheshire.

Judge Jon Blue dismissed a juror Friday who was overheard making a derogatory comment about the defense and replaced the juror with an alternate.

Hayes’ attorney, Tom Ullmann, said state law calls for the jury that determined Hayes’ guilt to determine his sentence. The alternate was not a member of the deliberating panel when it determined Hayes’ guilt.

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

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