Jury Begins Deliberations in Ct Home Invasion Murder Trial

Steven Hayes faces death in the home invasion killings of Jennifer Hawke-Petit and her daughters

By JOHN CHRISTOFFERSEN and Diana Perez
|  Monday, Oct 4, 2010  |  Updated 3:35 PM EDT
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Photo Evidence From Hayes Murder Trial

Petit Family

In closing arguments, prosecutors describe the unimaginable terror the Petit family lived through in their final moments.

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The jury has begun deliberating in the trial of Steven Hayes, who is charged in the home invasion killings of Jennifer Hawke-Petit and her daughters, 11-year-old Michaela and 17-year-old Hayley.

Judge John Blue plans to call on the jury at 4:30 p.m. to determine if a verdict is imminent.

Deliberation comes after eight days of gruesome and emotional testimony about a night of horror the family suffered.

He is one of two men charged with capital felony, murder and sexual assault in the 2007 killings in Cheshire.

On Friday, the state took more than an hour to explain to jurors that Hayes is just as responsible for the horrific crimes as the other suspect, Joshua Komisarjevsky.

The defense argued that Hayes was just a petty thief who got wrapped up with a socio-path and that Hayes didn't want to hurt the Petit family.

Jurors will deliberate a guilty or not guilty verdict on 17 counts. If Hayes is found guilty on any of the capital felony charges, the next phase of the trial will determine if Hayes will receive the death penalty.

Hayes is charged with three counts of felony murder; felony murder, multiple victims; murder, victim under 16 years old; four counts of first-degree kidnapping; three counts of murder; victim of kidnapping; sex-1 use of threat or force; murder, victim of sex assault 1; third-degree burglary; first-degree felony arson; and assault with a weapon without discharging firearm.

Hawke-Petit's husband, Dr. William Petit, was beaten but survived and testified during the trial.

Komisarjevsky faces trial next year. Both men face the possibility of the death penalty if convicted. 

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