Verdict in for Hayes


The jury has returned a in Steven Hayes' trial and will soon decide whether to sentence him to death or life in prison.

The verdict came down aroud 11:30 a.m. Stay tuned for updates, We're told this will be a lengthy process.

Last month, this jury found Hayes guilty of killing Jennifer Hawke-Petit and her daughters, Hayley, 17, and Michaela, 11, during a home invasion, in 2007 in Cheshire.

The women died after hours of horrors inside their burning home.

The jury spent hours on Saturday deliberating and asked to again hear testimony from a psychiatrist who talked about rage Hayes felt when he killed Jennifer Hawke-Petit.

After the court day ended, Jennifer Hawke-Petit's sister, Cynthia Renn, made the emotional announcement that she would be returning home to North Carolina before the sentence is announced. 

"I honestly can't imagine if the death penalty is not sought in this, when it would ever be used. That has to be the jury's choice and not mine," Renn said. She has been staying in Connecticut to be here through the trial.

The jury returned to court again on Sunday, and at one point, reporters could hear cheering from the jury room., but at 4:30 p.m., the jury said they had again not reached a decision and wanted to go home for the night.

Hayes' lawyers have argued that he should be spared the death penalty because his mental capacity was significantly impaired.

Prosecutors said the death penalty is justice for such a heinous crime and that Hayes and co-defendant Joshua Komisarjevsky were on a "power trip" when they tormented the family for seven hours before killing them.

Komisarjevsky is awaiting trial.

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