Jurors Speak Out On Hayes Death Sentence

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (CBS 2/AP) — A jury condemned Steven Hayes to death for the horrific Cheshire home invasion murders. For the first time, jurors were speaking out Tuesday about the case, CBS 2HD’s Jay Dow reports.

Juror Diane Keim said she saw Hayes for what he is: a cold-blooded killer who helped carry out the 2007 home invasion that left a wife and two daughters dead and Dr. William Petit, the lone survivor, traumatized.

“I do not feel he’s been remorseful,” Keim said. “In looking at the man who committed the crime, I looked at him as being a monster.”

Keim said the panel kept a picture of the victims in plain view during the deliberations and that the photograph reminded them of why they were there.

Keim sat on the jury that Monday unanimously voted to sentence Hayes to death. She and some of her counterparts, appearing on this morning’s “The Early Show,” insist it was not an easy decision.

“We definitely took our time. We wanted to make sure we followed the laws of the state of Connecticut,” said juror Maico Cardona.

Juror Herbert Gram said he couldn’t imagine what Dr. Petit was going through. “All I can say is that’s a man who just has unbelievable strength to have been through what he’s been through.”

Gram said that he had a difficult time holding back tears during Monday’s meeting with Dr. William Petit and Petit’s mother. He says Petit shook jurors’ hands and thanked them.

Gram says the jury asked the judge if it could meet with Petit after deciding to condemn Steven Hayes to death for the killings of Petit’s wife and their two daughters at their home in 2007.

Family members said they were grateful to the jury. “While we were sitting there going through all the agony of the repeated messages that came through, we still could understand that they were giving a large part of their lives to the effort that they had,” said Marybell Hawke, Jennifer Hawke-Petit’s mother.

Prosecutors said Hayes and accomplice Joshua Komersijesky, who will be tried next year, forced Dr. Petit’s wife into a bank to withdraw ransom money before murdering her and their two children.

The family’s home was then set on fire.

“Michaela was an 11-year-old little girl, tortured and killed in her own bedroom, surrounded by stuffed animals. Hayley had a great future. She was a strong and courageous person,” Dr. Petit said.

Legal appeals could put off Hayes’ execution for years. His attorney said the career criminal actually smiled upon hearing the sentence. “He’s been trying to kill himself for three and a half years. He’s humble now. He’s totally remorseful. He’s guilt ridden, depressed, and he wants to die,” said Attorney Thomas Ullman.

Juror Paula Calzetta said it was difficult to read hayes in the courtroom. “I kept looking to see some form of life within. It was just a constant shell.”

Connecticut has executed only one person since 1960. Serial killer Michael B. Ross received a lethal injection in 2005 after he stopped pursuing further appeals, but Ross spent 18 years on death row.

  • 1newamerican

    the legal system in this country is like the government it should be thrown out.bring back hangingand no more then one apeal.

  • Dave

    On death row these two would be kept separate from the general population for their own “safety” but would be provided with televisions, books, writing materials and other distractions from the boring existence they should be forced to endure if not the scorching death they deserve. Remember their previous prison time — they read In Cold Blood to motivate themselves

    The bravery of the family compared to the killers signifies the characters involved – Mrs. Petit thinking her husband was merely tied up downstairs, not knowing he’d been severely beaten, going to the bank to save them all. Hayley, continuing to unloosen her bindings and when they’d burned through heading toward Michaela’s room to save her. This was a brave family we should all honor.
    The two killers —- the proper resolution should be more like the end of the movie BRAVEHEART, wherein the punishment for treason was a “triple death”, thought to have been a serious deterrent and it probably was. These two might merely be given silent, painless needles which would allow them to go to sleep gently, certainly not the proper justice and in fact, it’s the kind of death we would all wish for when the time comes barring dying in our sleep..

    The crime of burglary may escalate to robbery and then again to home invasion. There exist definite lines between the three crimes. The ultimate one, home invasion, should demand the proper and ultimate justice. A man’s home is his castle, the saying goes. One who would invade it MUST be subject to the greatest penalty (which might as a deterrent just reduce burglaries and robberies, too) and that MUST be the retribution demanded by a society for its worst crimes, of which the four destroyed members of the Petit family were its victims. I say “four” because as a parent, feeling just a minute portion of the pain Dr. Petit feels, it is overwhelming. I can nearly not bear it and I am losing sleep empathyzing with his pain. His strength and motivation must be enormous. I would wish after doing all I could on Earth to avenge my family, that I be allowed to join them as quickly as possible in a better place. I’m sure he does, too.



    • anonymous

      he was caught by police after ramming a few of their cars, while he was just down the street fleeing from the burning house with petit in the front yard, these men are guilty, in fact joshua komisarjevsky called mr. petit a coward to his face during trial for not saving his family, there is video of mrs. petit telling the banker to call 911 and send help to her house. read into the facts before you speak. im usually against death penalty but in this case, life sentence, lethal injection and electric chair would be to easy of a punishment for this man.

  • jtorres

    If he is “giult-ridden, remorseful, depressed and wants to die” then he should prove it. Do what Timothy McVeigh did: Waive your rights to all of your appeals and let them go ahead with the execution at the earliest possible date allowed by law. Why waste time anyway? Do you really think he’s going to win any possible appeal? Please.

  • jtorres

    Actually, according to news reports, the doctor didn’t agree to a plea so they could seek the death penalty. I doubt he would have offered to plead guilty unless they took the death penalty off of the table because then what would be the point? They had them dead to rights with all the evidence they had and there was no defense. But I think the only way you can issue the death penalty is if the jury makes the recommendation and for that, you need a trial beforehand

  • Sean Hollywood

    Ann Marie he blamed his co defendant

  • Dorothy Proios

    I believe the States should pass a law whereby a convicted criminal given the death penalty should be allowed a year and no longer on death row thereby saving the peoples’ money by feeding and clothing a bum for 18 or 19 years. Sometimes the law is too easy on these rotten lowlives who don’t deserve to live on this earth.

  • Ann Marie Kellett

    If he is “guilt ridden” why didn’t he plead guilty and accept whatever punishment the court decided? He could have spared the doctor reliving all of this. Instead he just tried to save his sorry neck. If he’s truly sorry then let’s see him waive all appeals.

blog comments powered by Disqus
Giving Tuesday
Charles Osgood Event

Listen Live