Steven Hayes Condemned to Death for Fatal Home Invasion

(NECN: Brian Burnell, New Haven, Conn.) - The New Haven, Connecticut jury in the Steven Hayes murder trial has recommended the death penalty for the defendant.

Hayes was convicted last month of killing a Cheshire woman and her two daughters in 2007.

The judge will impose the sentence on Dec. 2.

Hayes joins nine other men on Connecticut's death row.

Hayes could be executed within five years if he decides to waive appeals.

Governor M. Jodi Rell today issued the following statement after jurors in the penalty phase of the Steven Hayes trial recommended a sentence of death for Hayes, who was convicted of the July 2007 slayings of Jennifer Hawke-Petit, Hayley Petit and Michaela Petit of Cheshire and the vicious assault on Dr. William Petit Jr.:

"The crimes that were committed on that brutal July night were so far out of the range of normal understanding that now, more than three years later, we still find it difficult to accept that they happened in one of our communities.

I have long believed that there are certain crimes so heinous, so depraved, that society is best served by imposing the ultimate sanction on the criminal. Steven Hayes stands convicted of such crimes - and today the jury has recommended that he should be subjected to the death penalty. I agree.

Once again I must commend Dr. Petit and his extended family for the way that they have conducted themselves throughout this horrific period. I would also like to thank the jurors who served throughout the case - they have seen and heard terrible things and faced extremely difficult choices. They have served with honor and deserve our appreciation."

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