NEW YORK (CBS/1010 WINS/WCBS 880) — A jury that heard eight days of gruesome testimony about a Connecticut family’s night of horror has convicted a paroled burglar of killing a mother and her two daughters.

PHOTOS: Images Of Petit House Used As Evidence During Trial

Steven Hayes, 47, was found guilty Tuesday of capital felony murder in the July 2007 deaths of Jennifer Hawke-Petit and her daughters, 17-year-old Hayley and 11-year-old Michaela.

Hayes was found guilty on the following counts:

  • Guilty of 6 counts of capital felony.
  • Guilty of 3 counts of murder.
  • Guilty of 4 counts of first-degree kidnapping.
  • Guilty of 1 count of first-degree sexual assault.
  • Guilty of 1 count of second-degree assault.
  • Guilty of 1 count of third-degree burglary.

The only count of which Hayes was acquitted on was arson, WCBS 880’s Fran Schneidau reported.  The jury determined it was not Hayes, but rather co-defendant Joshua Komisarjevsky who lit the match that torched the family’s gasoline soaked Cheshire house.

LISTEN: WCBS 880’s Fran Schneidau reports on the details of the verdict

There was pin drop silence in the courtroom and Hayes showed no emotion as the verdicts were read, 1010 WINS’ Al Jones reported.

The jury deliberated roughly 4 1/2 hours over two days and in two weeks, the same jurors will begin hearing evidence on whether or not Hayes should be sentenced to the death penalty by lethal injection, CBS 2’s Lou Young reported.

Firemen investigate a burned area of the home of Dr. William Petit, Cheshire, Connecticut 7/23/07. (Credit: AP)

Hayes’ defense conceded his involvement in the fatal home invasion but blamed his co-defendant  for being the aggressor. Komisarjevsky faces trial next year. He also faces the death penalty.

LISTEN: 1010 WINS’ Al Jones from the New Haven courthouse

Dr. William Petit thanked jurors for convicting one of the two suspects and spoke to reporters shortly after the verdict was read in court in New Haven on Tuesday afternoon.

“There is some relief, but my family is still, still gone. It doesn’t bring them back.  It doesn’t bring back the home that we had,” Dr. William Petit said.

Petit was tied up and assaulted but managed to escape the 2007 attack in his family home in Cheshire.

Reporters asked Petit if he was going to be able to go through the agony of having to deal with the next phase of Hayes’ trial and Komsersevjesky’s trial.

“Do I really want to do it? Do I look forward to the ride every day? No.  I have a little nausea every time get off the exit ramp, a little nausea every time I get out of the car and walk across the street, but I think I do it for my family,” Petit said.

Connecticut Gov. Jodi Rell released a statement shortly after the verdict was read, praising the incredible strength displayed by Dr. Petit during the trial.

“The murders of the Petit family horrified and disgusted us all, almost beyond the ability of words to convey. Today’s verdicts are a measure of justice – but they can never begin to restore the promise lost on that terrible day in July. That grief may ebb over time but it can never be fully expunged,” she said. “I commend Dr. Petit and his extended family for the remarkable strength and dignity they have displayed throughout this agonizing ordeal – which, of course, will continue through the penalty phase, the trial of another suspect and the legal proceedings that are certain to follow. I know that the people of Connecticut will continue to keep the Petit and Hawke families in their thoughts and prayers in the months to come.”

William Petit Jr., Connecticut doctor, with wife Jennifer Hawke-Petit, and their two daughters, Hayley, top left and Michaela, photo 7/23/07. (Credit: AP)

Comments (11)
  1. david says:

    The death penalty NEEDS to exist for sub-humans such as Steven Hayes and Joshua Komisarjevsky.

    There unfortunately are more like these two out there, and they all need to be treated like the animals that they are.

  2. Dr. Kalypso says:

    If ever a crime that a person commited deserved a the death penalty this is it. I’m only sorry that these animals execution will be painless

  3. Robert says:

    Hayes looks like Uncle Fester, all he need is a light bulb in his mouth…and wouldn’t it be wonderful if the bulb lit up when this creep goes to meet his maker.

  4. james says:

    Please put this man to death,he earned it!!!

  5. NJman says:

    I am not a fan of the death penalty, however in this case let him fry the same way as he did to his innocent victims and he can go to hell for the misery he has caused for that family. My heart goes out to the family of the victims. May they rest in peace now that justice has been served

  6. enough says:

    tie him to the bed and burn him alive – the same fate he gave Michaela.

  7. jtorres says:

    I’m usually not in favor of the death penalty but in this case, I think it’s warranted. These two are just a waste of space.

  8. Jojo says:

    His death won’t be justice because it will be painless. He should suffer a guesome death like the one he inflicted on the Petit family.

  9. beeman says:

    The world would be a better place without steven hayse. His death should be as horrible as as the Petit’s girls if not worse.

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