After seeing disturbing photos from the crime scene in Cheshire Judge Blue turned to the jury and said he knows this is a horrible experience and dismissed them for the day. He told the people who will be deciding Steven Hayes' fate not to discuss the case, but to give each other hugs if they wanted.
It was the first time the jurors saw graphic images from what happened inside 300 Sorghum Mill Drive on July 23, 2007.
The Petit family was also visibily upset.
Dr. William Petit is the only survivor of the horrifying ordeal in which his wife and 11 and 17 year old daughters were killed and their family home was set on fire. Dr. Petit escaped. The women died inside the burning house.
Steven Hayes and Joshua Komisarjevsky are accused of beating Dr. William Petit in his home and leaving him for dead, and raping and killing his wife, Jennifer Hawke-Petit, and their two daughters, Michaela, 11, and Hayley, 17.
It was as jurors were shown photos of Hayley’s body at the top of the stairs that Dr. Petit sobbed. Family members sitting with him in the courtroom tried to console him through their own tears.
Firefighters took the stand and described the scene they faced three years ago after walking into the door of the burning home. On the first floor, they had “50 percent” visibility but the second floor was worse. Smoke prevented them from seeing anything.
The scene was also dangerous and a burnt stairwell were structurally compromised.
It was only by using thermal imaging cameras that firefighters found Hayley at the top of the stairs. They found her as they were ordered to leave the house, but a firefighter stayed there, at the top of the stairs, trying to decide whether to take her.
He left without her and told state police outside about finding a woman’s body. It was then that he learned that there might be another victim on the second floor. Again, he entered the Petit’s home. This time with a carbon monoxide detector.