Jury Returns for Day 2 of Deliberations in Horrific Home Invasion Case

Victim's mother provided emotional moment in court

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    NBCConnecticut
    The face of evil: Steven Hayes

    The jury has begun a second day of deliberations to determine if Steven Hayes should get the death penalty or life in prison for the murders of Jennifer Hawke-Petit and her daughters Hayley and Michaela.

    Before the jurors entered the deliberation room Saturday around 9:30, Judge Jon Blue told them he would allow them to work late into the night if they wanted to.

    Day one of deliberations had some unexpected twists from the jury.

    The jury foreman sent a note to Judge Blue just after 2 p.m. Friday asking "what does it mean to UNANIMOUSLY find the existence of a statutory mitigating factor?"

    The note included a diagram of what the foreman described as an example of how the jury vote is playing out. The example shows 10 jurors finding at least one mitigating factor, but two jurors who don't find any of the three possible statutory mitigating factors.

    "Based on the example above, are we unanimous in finding existence of statutory mitigating factor?", the note read.

    If the jurors unanimously find the existence of statutory mitigating factors, by law they must sentence Hayes to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

    Blue told the jurors they were not unanimous and needed to continue deliberations.

    The jury sent out a second note around 4:15 p.m. asking Judge Blue again to clarify statutory mitigating factors.

    Blue told the jurors they could not fill out verdict forms until they unanimously find there are mitigating factors or unanimously find there are none.

    The jury understood Blue's direction, but said it would have to return Saturday.

    There was an emotional moment earlier in the day when Maybelle Hawke, mother of Jennifer Hawke-Petit, approached Steven Hayes' brother Matthew Hayes in court. She grasped his hands and briefly talked to him.

    "I'm so sorry", Matthew Hayes said to Hawke during the conversation. It was the first time the family of the victims and the family of Steven Hayes have made contact since the July 2007 murders.