Steven Hayes, the ex-con who was found guilty of killing a Connecticut mother and her two daughters (as well as beating her husband), was sentenced to death. The Courant reports, "The jury"—made up of seven women and five men—"sentenced Hayes to death on all six possible death-penalty counts: killing [Jennifer Hawke-Petit and Michaela and Hayley [Petit] in the course of a single action; killing a child under the age of 16; killing Hawke-Petit in the course of a kidnapping; killing Hayley in the course of a kidnapping; killing Michaela in the course of a kidnapping; and killing Hawke-Petit in the course of a sexual assault."
The 2007 crime was a home invasion plot hatched between two ex-cons (Hayes and Joshua Komisarjevsky, who faces trial next year) that escalated into sexual assaults against 11-year-old Michaela Petit and mother Jennifer Hawke-Petit and Hawke-Petit's death by strangulation and the deaths of daughters Michaela and Hayley, 17, when the pair set fire to the Petit home. Only Dr. William Petit survived, who, after being beaten and bound in the basement, managed to escape the house and go to a neighbor's for help.
Hayes' lawyer made a bid to save his client's life last week, telling the jurors, "This is a human being. You may not like him, you may hate him, you may despise what he did in this case, but he's not a rabid dog that needs to be put down."