NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) — Prosecutors in the trial of one of two men accused killing a woman and her two daughters in a 2007 home invasion failed to prove he intended to cause the girls’ deaths, his attorneys argued in court papers Thursday.

Hayley Petit, 17, and her sister Michaela, 11, died of smoke inhalation after their house was set on fire. Their mother, Jennifer Hawke-Petit, was strangled.

Prosecutors say Steven Hayes and a co-defendant, Joshua Komisarjevsky, who is awaiting trial, tied the girls to their beds and poured gasoline on or around them before burning the house. Hayes’ attorneys plan to make their closing argument Friday.

Attorneys for Hayes acknowledged prosecutors presented evidence of arson but said the jury could consider the lesser offense of arson murder. Hayes is charged with arson and murder as well as sexual assault.

A telephone message was left Thursday for a prosecutor.

A prison officer testified Thursday that he overheard a conversation in which Hayes told another inmate that he poured gasoline on the stairs but didn’t believe he could be charged with arson because he didn’t light it.

New Haven Superior Court Judge Jon Blue rejected a defense motion asking him to order prosecutors to specify in the murder charges they filed against Hayes that the cause of the girls’ deaths was smoke inhalation.

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

Comments (4)
  1. angel says:

    not only this “things” should get the death penalty…they should die so slowly and so painfully that they would have to beg the executioner to put an end to their misery! If we had much tougher laws, maybe people would think twice before doing this type of horrible crimes!

  2. MV says:

    My God, he makes me sick, what a low life – the laywer in this case

  3. Max says:

    you must be kidding me
    there is nothing lower on this earth than a defense attorney
    well a rapist child molestor or murder but they are in the same boat
    these two animals brutally beat, raped and murdered innocent people
    they went there with the intent to harm
    fry them in the electric chair

  4. Craig D says:

    The State of Connecticut should get the Brazen Bull from a museum and use it on these two.

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