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Prosecutor: 2 home-invasion suspects at fault

 This July 2007 police photo released Tuesday, Sept. 28, 2010 by the Connecticut Judicial Branch as evidence presented Friday, Sept. 24, 2010 in the S...
 This July 2007 police photo released Tuesday, Sept. 28, 2010 by the Connecticut Judicial Branch as evidence presented Friday, Sept. 24, 2010 in the S...
 This July 2007 police photo released Tuesday, Sept. 28, 2010 by the Connecticut Judicial Branch as evidence presented Friday, Sept. 24, 2010 in the S...
 This July 2007 police photo released Tuesday, Sept. 28, 2010 by the Connecticut Judicial Branch as evidence presented Friday, Sept. 24, 2010 in the S...

Home Invasion

This July 2007 police photo released Tuesday, Sept. 28, 2010 by the Connecticut Judicial Branch as evidence presented Friday, Sept. 24, 2010 in the S...

Home Invasion

This July 2007 police photo released Tuesday, Sept. 28, 2010 by the Connecticut Judicial Branch as evidence presented Friday, Sept. 24, 2010 in the S...

Home Invasion

This July 2007 police photo released Tuesday, Sept. 28, 2010 by the Connecticut Judicial Branch as evidence presented Friday, Sept. 24, 2010 in the S...

Home Invasion

This July 2007 police photo released Tuesday, Sept. 28, 2010 by the Connecticut Judicial Branch as evidence presented Friday, Sept. 24, 2010 in the S...

A prosecutor told a jury Friday that both suspects in a deadly home invasion are equally responsible for the killings of a mother and her two daughters.
State's Attorney Michael Dearington called the crimes a "joint venture" and noted that what was originally planned as a robbery turned into a triple murder.
"What was a vibrant house became a house of terror and horror," Dearington told the New Haven Superior Court jury.
The jurors were hearing closing arguments at the trial of Steven Hayes, who is accused of killing of Jennifer Hawke-Petit and her daughters, 11-year-old Michaela and 17-year-old Hayley, at their Cheshire home. The other suspect, Joshua Komisarjevsky, is awaiting trial.
Hayes' defense was to give its closing argument after Dearington. During its cross examination of prosecution witnesses and in Hayes' own accounts, the defense has focused on Komisarjevsky's role in the crimes.
Dearington said the 47-year-old Hayes "brutally raped" Hawke-Petit, and evidence suggested that he lit the house on fire before he and Komisarjevsky fled. He also noted at several points that the crime took two people to carry out, such as when Michaela was tied to her bed while her mother was guarded in another room.
The prosecution showed photos of Hawke-Petit at a bank, where she was forced to withdraw money, and of ropes used to tie the girls to their beds. Dearington said gas was poured on or around the victims before the fire was set. Authorities said both girls died of smoke inhalation and accused Hayes of strangling Hawke-Petit.
The girls' father, Dr. William Petit, the only survivor, told the jury he awoke on a couch the morning of the attacks and found two people standing near him, one holding a gun. He said he was beaten with a baseball bat, his wrists and ankles bound, and was tied to a post in his basement. He managed to free his hands, get up the stairs and crawl and roll to a neighbor's house.
Jurors are expected to begin deliberations next week. Both defendants face the possibility of the death penalty if convicted.


Updated : 2021-10-17 11:20 GMT+08:00