Judge to Consider New Trial for Hayes: Report


Judge Jon Blue denied the motion Steven Hayes' lawyers filed to aquit the man in the brutal slayings of a mother and her two daughters in Cheshire.

However, Blue will hear the motion for a new trial, the Hartford Courant reports.   

Public defenders Thomas Ullman and Patrick Culligan filed an 11- page motion shortly after Hayes was sentenced to death, claiming the court made several errors that ultimately violated Hayes' rights.

Hayes, 47, was found guilty in the brutal slayings of Jennifer Hawke-Petit and her daughters, Hayley, 17, and Michaela, 11, in their Cheshire home in 2007.

The women died as their family home burned to the ground after a night of horrors. Jennifer and Michaela had been sexually assaulted and Dr. William Petit had been beaten. He was the only victim to survive.

Ullman said it is clear by the interviews members of the jury gave after sentencing that their decisions were based on emotion rather than the law. Prosecutors disagree.

The defense also claims that Hayes' rights were violated when a juror was replaced by an alternate during the sentencing phase of the trial.

Ullman argued that the 12 people who convicted Hayes should be the same people who sentenced him, so Hayes should be given the lesser punishment of life in prison or a new trial.

Blue will not decide on the motion today, but will decide before Hayes is sentenced, the Courant reports.

Blue previously denied a motion to delay the sentencing, which is scheduled for early December.

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