Timeline: Deadly Cheshire Home Invasion
On July 23, 2007, Jennifer Hawke-Petit and her children, Hayley, 17, and Michaela, 11, were slain in their Cheshire home. William Petit Jr. was badly beaten. Steven Hayes and Joshua Komisarjevsky were sentenced to death in the case. In the legislature, the deadly home invasion set off political debate over tougher crime legislation and a stricter parole system.
JULY 23, 2007: Joshua Komisarjevsky and Steven Hayes are arrested fleeing the Petits' burning home. William Petit is found outside; the bodies of his wife and daughters are inside.
JULY 24, 2007: The suspects, both on parole, are arraigned in Superior Court in Meriden. Bail is set at $15 million each.
Cheshire Home Invasion Suspect Steven Hayes Tells Judge He Wishes To Plead Guilty
Cheshire Home Invasion Archive
JULY 26, 2007: State's Attorney Michael Dearington
files six capital felony counts against
each suspect and says he will to pursue the death penalty
if they are convicted.
JULY 28, 2007: Hundreds attend public memorial service for Hawke-Petit, Michaela and Hayley.
JULY 31, 2007: Gov. M. Jodi Rell calls for a special session to consider tougher crime legislation and orders electronic monitoring of paroled burglars.
AUG. 1, 2007: Komisarjevsky was subject to electronic monitoring until just four days before the slayings, the House speaker
AUG. 15, 2007: A rally in Cheshire focuses on "three-strikes" legislation.
AUG. 31, 2007: Rell appoints a task force to assess the state's criminal justice system.
SEPT. 17, 2007: Defense attorneys argue to keep secret 11 search warrant affidavits used to investigate the crime, saying they contain "purported alleged admissions'' by the suspects. The Courant argues the affidavits should be unsealed.
SEPT. 20, 2007: The legislature is split along party lines on whether to call themselves into special session.
SEPT. 21, 2007: Rell bans the parole of violent offenders after a Connecticut parolee steals a car at knifepoint in Hartford and is later shot and wounded by police in New York. Rell also orders a review of convicts out on parole.
SEPT. 30, 2007: Rell and Republican legislators call for a special session to consider crime legislation, while Democratic leaders order the co-chairmen of the judiciary committee to investigate the state's parole system.
OCT. 18, 2007: Judge Richard Damiani rules that redacted versions of search warrant affidavits used to gather evidence of the crime may be released pending appeals by defense attorneys.
OCT. 30, 2007: Komisarjevsky pleads not guilty to the killings and waives his right to a hearing of the evidence against him. Komisarjevsky and Hayes face capital felony and multiple murder, kidnapping, sexual assault and arson charges.
NOV. 1, 2007: Hayes pleads not guilty to six counts of capital felony.
NOV. 7, 2007: Both sides are barred from making out-of-court statements that might prejudice jurors.
NOV. 27, 2007: The state judiciary committee hears testimony on proposals regarding the reform of the state criminal
DEC. 18, 2007: William Petit sends legislators an e-mail asking them to quickly revise the state's parole system.
JAN. 6, 2008: More than 140,000 luminarias line Cheshire's streets on for the Lights of Hope event in remembrance of the Petits.
JAN. 8, 2008: Rell and Democratic leaders announce a series of reforms to the criminal justice system, including classifying burglary of an occupied home as a Class A felony, and upgrading the part-time Board of Pardons and Paroles to a full-time board whose members would be required to have experience or education in criminal justice.
JAN. 9, 2008: Rell's sentencing-and-parole task force makes its recommendations, which include the creation of a separate crime of home invasion, a Class A felony with a sentence of up to 25 years in prison.
JAN. 21, 2008: Newly released dispatch records show a nearly five-minute gap between the time Cheshire police received the initial 911 call about an "incident" at the Petit home and the time officers were dispatched to the scene.
JAN. 25, 2008: Rell signs a 43-page bipartisan crime bill that creates a new class of crime, home invasion, which carries a penalty of up to 25 years in prison. It also pays for an upgrade to computer systems for law enforcement agencies.
MARCH 1, 2008: The new law making home invasion a class A felony takes effect.
MARCH 12, 2008: William Petit's sister, Johanna Petit
Chapman, urges legislators to pass a three-strikes law that includes a mandatory life sentence after three violent crimes.
MAY 30, 2008: Demolition crews take down the fire-damaged former home of the Petit family in Cheshire.
JUNE 16, 2008: State's Attorney Michael Dearington agrees to separate trials for
Komisarjevsky and Hayes, but leaves open the possibility that the trials could be held at the same time with different juries.
JULY 1, 2008: Rev. Richard Hawke and Marybelle Hawke,parents of Hawke-Petit, publicly question the Cheshire police response time.
SEPT. 21, 2008: A true-crime book about the Cheshire murders, "Murder in Connecticut" by Michael Benson, is released.
OCT. 2008: Dr. Petit says he is willing to stand with any political candidate who pledges to support a mandatory life sentence on violent three-time felons.
MARCH 4, 2009: Dr. Petit tells lawmakers that the death penalty should be repaired not scrapped. "Any penalty less than death for murder is unjust," he said.
MAY 13, 2009: The state House of Representatives votes to abolish the death penalty and instead impose life in prison without the possibility of release.
JUNE 6, 2009: Gov. Rell vetoes the bill that would have repealed the death penalty in Connecticut.
JULY 8, 2009: Prosecutors and Petit family members seek one trial for the two men charged with the crime, saying the Dr. Petit should be spared the ordeal of two trials.
JULY 18, 2009: Dr. Petit asks judge to order defense attorneys and members of their team to stop contacting him and members of his family "whether direct or indirect, in recognition of the victim's rights to be treated with fairness and to be reasonably protected from the accused throughout the criminal justice process as guaranteed" in the state's constitution.
JULY 23, 2009: On the second anniversary of the killings, Dr. Petit and his supporters express frustration with the pace of the criminal court proceedings. "Our system is out of kilter - victims' rights are totally abused," Petit said.
SEPT. 30, 2009: The book, "In the Middle of the Night: The Shocking True Story of a Family Killed in Cold Blood," is released. The book is, for the most part, defendant Joshua Komisarjevsky's version of the July 2007 killings. Author Brian McDonald visited Komisarjevsky three times in prison before state Department of Correction officials realized he was a writer and took him off the visitors list. Komisarjevsky, a prodigious writer, also wrote McDonald more than a dozen letters detailing his life story. In the book, Komisarjevsky doesn't deny his involvement in the crime, but makes clear that he blames Hayes for the killings.
OCT. 1, 2009: Hayes' attorneys asks the court to reveal what - if any - information prosecutors had about the book before it was published. Hayes' attorneys also seek an arrest warrant for Komisarjevsky for criminal contempt of court, claiming his conversations with author Brian McDonald violated a court-imposed gag order in the case.
OCT. 21, 2009: Komisarjevsky's attorneys ask a judge to quash a subpoena from Hayes' lawyers.
NOV. 7, 2009: Dr. Petit asks the state attorney general to look into whether the state Department of Correction acted improperly when it allowed slaying suspect Joshua Komisarjevsky to be interviewed for a book. Petit says that he tried to stop the release of the book, fearing it would interfere with the judicial process. He asks that the book be boycotted. Many Cheshire residents seek to have the book banned from the local library.
NOV. 23, 2009: Prosecutors fire back against a defense request to delay jury selection for four months because of pretrial publicity generated, in part, by a book about the case. "With all due respect to the author," prosecutor John Waddock said in court papers filed, "the book is conspicuously absent from the New York Times or any other bestseller list."
JAN. 19, 2010: Jury selection in the trial of Steven Hayes starts at Superior Court in New Haven.
JAN. 20, 2010: A New Haven writer in his 50s is picked for the Hayes jury.
JAN. 25, 2010: East Haven grandmother chosen for the Hayes jury.
JAN. 26, 2010: Third juror chosen.
JAN. 28, 2010: Yale maintenance worker chosen as juror.
JAN. 31, 2010: Hayes is found unconscious in prison cell after taking an overdose of Thorazine, an antipsychotic drug, and Klonopin, a tranquilizer.
FEB. 1, 2010: Jury selection postponed.
MARCH 2, 2010: Special hearing held after Hayes' attorneys complain his prison "safe cell" with limited amenities and 24-hour lighting, used for inmates with high risk of suicide is inhumane.
MARCH 10, 2010: Prison psychiatrist testifies Hayes has lost hope, but would be able to participate in his own defense in his trial.
MARCH 15, 2010: Jury selection resumes after six-week hiatus. Guilford resident chosen.
MARCH 17, 2010: Judge grants Hayes a mental-competency hearing. Jury selection again suspended until April 1.
APRIL 1, 2010: At competency hearing, Hayes says he wants to change his plea to guilty.
APRIL 5, 2010: Saying they could not participate in the "sordid process that greases the wheels of the machinery of death," Hayes' defense attorneys threaten to withdraw from the case if their client is allowed to plead guilty without a deal that would spare his life.
APRIL 6, 2010: Hayes says he no longer wants to plead guilty.
APRIL 8-April 15, 2010: Jurors seven through eleven are chosen. They include a New Haven woman, a Hamden man, and a woman from Wallingford.
APRIL 19, 2010: Superior Court Judge Jon C. Blue rules that Hayes, who has asked to skip the rest of jury selection, must be present while the rest of the jury panel is chosen.
APRIL 21, 2010: Twelfth juror, a New Haven woman, is chosen.
JUNE 2, 2010: Jury selection ends after 12 regular jurors, six alternates, and two backup alternates have been chosen. The process has taken 48 days.
JUNE 23, 2010: Hayes' lawyers ask judge to close courtroom to the public for hearings on certain pretrial motions, arguing exposing jurors to media reports of pretrial arguments could be prejudicial to Hayes and violate his constitutional right to a fair trial.
JUNE 30, 2010: Judge Jon C. Blue denies request by Hayes' attorneys to close the courtroom for pretrial arguments, stating the jury understands the obligations of the juror's oath to decide the case based only on the evidence presented in court.
JULY 14, 2010: Cheshire police detective testifies Hayes told police after being taken into custody: "I don't know. Things just got out of control," during a Superior Court hearing on an attempt by defense attorneys to suppress statements Hayes allegedly made police. Defense lawyers say Hayes' oral statements, not recorded on audiotape, were made before Hayes was read his Miranda rights. State police Det. Anthony Buglione testifies Hayes later appeared coherent as he waived his rights and put his signature on notes taken during a police interview.
JULY 28, 2010: Judge Blue rejects defense lawyers' argument that the death penalty should not be permitted because the state legislature voted last year to abolish the death penalty, even though Gov. M. Jodi Rell vetoed the bill. Blue says the vote by the legislature was not enough to end the death penalty in Connecticut.
AUGUST 18, 2010: In a hearing on pretrial motions, Judge Blue rules statements given by Hayes to police will be allowed into testimony at the trial and that Hayes understood his Miranda rights as they were read to him on the day of his arrest. Blue excuses juror No. 8 after she testifies the trial would interfere with her new job; one of the alternates will take her place.
SEPTEMBER 3, 2010: udge Roland D. Fasano rejects a motion filed by The Courant to lift or modify a court-imposed gag order. The paper had hoped to obtain correspondence that Hayes may have written to The Courant from his prison cell. The correspondence was withheld by the Department of Correction, which cited the gag order. Hayes' defense attorneys fought The Courant's request, saying extrajudicial statements made in the case would be highly prejudicial to Hayes and violate his constitutional right to a fair trial.
SEPTEMBER 8, 2010: Judge Jon C. Blue rules William Petit Jr. will be allowed to attend the Hayes trial, even though other witnesses will be sequestered.
SEPTEMBER 10, 2010: In new effort to bar William Petit Jr. from the Hayes trial, lawyers for Joshua Komisarjevsky argue Petit's presence will prejudice him in Komisarjevsky's trial. The motion is denied.
SEPTEMBER 13, 2010: Trial begins. Judge Blue rules William Petit Jr. may attend the trial. Three jurors are excused; jury pool now consists of 12 regulars and four alternates. Bank of America employees testify about Jennifer Hawke-Petit's efforts to get money for the men holding her family hostage.
SEPTEMBER 14, 2010: William Petit Jr. takes the stand for the prosecution; there is no cross-examination. Petit describes the attack on his family. One juror is excused after stating he cannot follow the prosecution's presentation. A female alternate is chosen. Cheshire Police Sgt. Testifies.
SEPTEMBER 15, 2010: Jurors are shown photos of the crime scene. Police and firefighters describe their actions on the morning of the attack. The timeline shows 33 minutes lapsed between the bank teller's 911 call and an officer coming upon a beaten William Petit Jr. in his neighbor's driveway, telling him "the girls" were still inside.
SEPTEMBER 16, 2010: Hayes' attorneys say Hayes had a seizure the night before and urinated on himself. Trooper who was case officer/evidence officer takes the stand and evidence from the crime scene is exhibited. Trooper says Hayes was the passenger and Komisarjevsky was driving the getaway car. Trial is delayed due to Hayes' illness.
SEPTEMBER 20, 2010: Jurors arrive at courthouse and are told to go home after hearing Judge Blue was taken to the hospital over the weekend after complaining of light-headedness. Trial is set to resume in two days.
SEPTEMBER 22, 2010: Trial resumes. Police give account of Hayes' description of the beating and rapes.
SEPTEMBER 23, 2010: Photos found on Komisarjevsky's phone are shown to the jury.
SEPTEMBER 24, 2010: A detective in the state fire marshal's office testifies about evidence of the fire. Joshua Komisarjevsky's lawyer, Jeremiah Donovan, makes a statement outside of court, in defiance of a court-imposed gag order.
SEPTEMBER 25, 2010: Prosecutors demonstrate how an accelerant was strategically poured over 11-year-old Michaela Petit as she lay bound in her bed. Lawyer Jeremiah Donovan is thrown out of court after the song "Joy to the World" begins to play on his ringing cell phone.
SEPTEMBER 28, 2010: Testimony ends. Prosecution and defense rest their cases.
SEPTEMBER 29, 2010: Lawyer Jeremiah Donovan asks judge to postpone a court hearing that will determine whether the he should face contempt of court charges for violating a gag order.
SEPTEMBER 30, 2010: Judge Blue denies three motions by defense, leaving the death penalty on the table.
OCTOBER 1, 2010: Closing arguments. Defense says state did not prove intent to kill and blames Komisarjevsky for escalation of crime to murder. An alternate juror is dismissed due to a "serious medical issue."
OCTOBER 4, 2010: Jurors begin deliberation.
OCTOBER 5, 2010: Hayes found guilty on 16 of 17 counts. Six of counts are capital felonies: Killing Hawke-Petit and Michaela and Hayley in the course of a single action; killing a child under the age of 16; Killing Hawke-Petit and Michaela and Hayley in the course of a kidnapping, one count per person; and killing Hawke-Petit in the course of the commission of a first-degree sexual assault. Hayes is also guilty of three counts of murder, four counts of first-degree kidnapping, and first-degree sexual assault in the rape of Hawke-Petit. Jury acquits him on one count: first-degree arson.
OCTOBER 13, 2010: Quinnipiac University Poll shows 65 percent of those surveyed support the death penalty in general, and when asked specifically about Hayes, 76 percent said they support the death penalty.
OCTOBER 14, 2010: Judge Blue rejects defense request to allow an expert to testify about what it would cost state and taxpayers to execute Hayes compared with cost of sending him to prison for life.
OCTOBER 18, 2010: Penalty phase of trial begins. Defense presents letters by Hayes and witness portrays him as drug-addicted follower and klutzy criminal.
OCTOBER 19, 2010: Defense presents disturbing writings by Joshua Komisarjevsky, including his assessment of Petit family members: "Hayley is a fighter Michaela's calm strength and poised emotion gave her an aura of fearlessness Mrs. Pettit's courage was/is to be respected Mr. Petit is a coward."
OCTOBER 20, 2010: Defense uses testimony by psychiatrist to portray Hayes as a depressed, guilt-ridden and suicidal drug addict; prosecution tries to cast doubt on alleged suicide attempts.
OCTOBER 25, 2010: Prosecution presents prison disciplinary reports, including one that shows Hayes threatened to kill a correction officer.
OCTOBER 26, 2010: Expert witness for defense says he thinks Hayes would not be violent if sent to prison for life. Judge Roland D. Fasano refers Jeremiah Donovan contempt case to another judge.
OCTOBER 27, 2010: Witness for defense, a psychiatrist, testifies Hayes was abused by authoritative father and troubled by a sexual fetish for dirty sneakers.
OCTOBER 28, 2010: Statement from one of Hayes' brothers, Matthew, portrays Steven Hayes as a conniving, sadistic, violent thief who saw Matthew take beatings from his father for Steven Hayes' misdeeds.
OCTOBER 29, 2010: A juror is dismissed after making an inappropriate remark about a witness out loud; she is the sixth juror to be dismissed since the first day of testimony.
NOVEMBER 1, 2010: The last alternate juror remaining is admonished by Judge Blue for sending a romantic note to a court marshal, but is not dismissed.
NOVEMBER 2, 2010: Defense rests, concluding 10 days of testimony and over a dozen witnesses.
NOVEMBER 4, 2010: Closing arguments. "This is a human being he's not a rabid dog than needs to be put down," New Haven public defender Thomas J. Ullman says of Hayes. Defense claims the harshest sentence would be life without parole, due to Hayes' depression and guilt. Prosecution reminds jury of crimes and of text messages between Hayes and Komisarjevsky in which Hayes prodded his partner to get the crime going. "Two beautiful girls, one loving mother, a decent family destroyed because Hayes wanted money," says prosecutor Michael Dearington.
NOVEMBER 5-7: Jury deliberates.
NOVEMBER 8, 2010: Jury returns with verdict after deliberating for 17 hours, sentencing Hayes to death on all six possible death-penalty counts. He will be formally sentenced on Dec. 2.
DECEMBER 2, 2010: Superior Court Judge Jon C. Blue hands down six death sentences and sets an execution date of May 27, 2011. "Death will be a welcome relief," Hayes tells the court.
FEBRUARY 4, 2011: Lawyers for Komisarjevsky argue his trial should be moved out of New Haven; that jurors should not be excused based on opposition to the death penalty; that no seating be reserved for media; and that the use of electronic devices by courtroom spectators be banned. Jury selection for Komisarjevsky's trial is scheduled to start March 14.
FEBRUARY 16, 2011: Judge Blue says he will allow the use of electronic devices in the upcoming trial.
FEBRUARY 24, 2011: Judge Blue says the Komisarjevsky trial will begin Sept. 19, following what is expected to be months of jury selection. Lawyers agree they will select a total of 21 jurors in a process to start March 16: 12 regular jurors, six alternates and three backup alternates. Also, Judge Blue denies a request to sequester jurors.
FEBRUARY 28, 2011: The location of the trial will remain in New Haven after Judge Blue denies the defense's motion requesting a change of venue.
MARCH 17, 2011: The first juror in the Komisarjevsky trial is selected, an employee at Yale School of Medicine.
MARCH 21, 2011: Second juror, a man from New Haven, selected.
MARCH 23, 2011: Superior Court Judge Judge Roland D. Fasano rejects motion by defense to to allow Joshua Komisarjevsky to plead guilty in exchange for escaping the death penalty. Third juror chosen- a New Haven woman who identified herself as a social-work investigator.
April 1, 2011: Judge Blue grants a motion by The Courant to make public the names of potential witnesses. Komisarjevsky's lawyers argue witnesses do not want to speak to the defense for fear of retribution by angry community or family members. Blue stays the order for a week to enable the defendant to attempt to obtain a further stay from a reviewing court.
April 4, 2011: Fourth juror chosen -- a physician from Madison.
April 7, 2011: Fifth juror chosen -- a New Haven woman, is a mental health care worker who moved to Connecticut from New York in 2008. Judge Blue says he still plans to make public a list of potential witnesses, but issues a stay of his order until April 14, in case defense lawyers want to pursue an appeal with a different court.
April 13, 2011: An attorney for Komisarjevsky's 9-year-old daughter files an application for a pseudonym to be used in place of the girl's real name if she is subpoenaed to testify. Prosecutors say the girl is not on their witness list. Sixth juror chosen, a woman from Bethany.
April 19, 2011: Seventh juror chosen - a Hamden woman who works at Yale University.
April 21, 2011: Judge Blue reaffirms his decision to make the list of witnesses public, but stays the order until May 4.
April 28, 2011: Ninth juror chosen a woman from Branford. Defense lawyers file an appeal regarding Judge Blue's decision to make the witness list public.
May 4, 2011: Tenth juror chosen, a 52-year-old truck mechanic from Meriden. Blue orders that witness names become public on May 12 unless Komisarjevsky gets a stay from a higher court.
May 10, 2011: Twelfth juror chosen, a 44-year-old tennis coach from Guilford.
May 11, 2011: The state Appellate Court grants a request for an emergency temporary stay of Judge Blue's order to release the list of witnesses.
May 12, 2011: Defense asks Judge Blue to delay the case for three months after Sen. Edith Prague, a Democrat from Columbia, told an online political newspaper that Komisarjevsky should be hung "by his penis from a tree out in the middle of Main Street.'' The defense said Prague's comments were "inflammatory" and could influence prospective jurors in the case.
May 17, 2011: Defense request to delay the trial is denied.
May 24, 2011: The state Appellate Court dismisses an appeal seeking to keep the witnesses list sealed.
June 14, 2011: Twelve jurors, six alternates, and three backup alternates have been chosen.
July 13, 2011: Defense attorneys unsuccessfully try to keep William Petit sequestered during the upcoming trial, arguing Petit is not a victim but a "complaining witness."
August 3, 2011: Superior Court Judge Roland D. Fasano denies Komisarjevsky's request to respond in court to comments made by William Petit and his family to the press about Komisarjevsky. The motion took issue, in part, with comments Petit made about "pure evil" and references to the defendant as "an animal" during media interviews and in letters and e-mails. Though the motion allowing Komisarjevsky to make an "extrajudicial statement" is denied, some of the statements contained within the motion are published by the local media.
August 12, 2011: The state Superior Court rules the witness list will not be unsealed.
August 22, 2011: Komisarjevsky's Defense attorneys lose their bid to keep Dr. William Petit Jr. out of the courtroom during their client's upcoming trial.
August 26, 2011: Judge Blue denies a defense motion to suppress Komisarjevsky's 90-minute taped confession, saying that he isn't convinced by arguments that the defendant was injured in the car crash right before his arrest and hadn't slept for many hours before he waived his Miranda rights.
September 12, 2011: A motion by defense to sequester the jury seated for the trial is rejected by a Superior Court judge.
September 13, 2011: Prosecutors outline amended charges against Komisarjevsky, including 17 counts of murder, capital felony, kidnapping, sexual assault, arson, assault and larceny. Komisarjevsky declines to plead to the charges; Judge Blue directs the court clerk to enter pleas of not guilty on the defendant's behalf.
September 15, 2011: The Courant publishes a story describing the hardships suffered by defense lawyers for Hayes and Komisarjevsky, including public scorn and loss of income.
September 16, 2011: Judge Blue denies a defense motion to move the trial from New Haven to Stamford. Blue had denied the motion in February but left open the possibility that he might reconsider the request if attorneys were unable to find fair and impartial jurors during the "voir dire" process, in which attorneys question prospective jurors individually.
September 19, 2011: Komisarjevsky trial begins. In opening statements, defense attorney Walter C. Bansley III attempts to distance his client from the killings, fingering Hayes throughout his remarks, saying Komisarjevsky was a willing participant in the break-in but not in the killings. Bansley says it was Hayes who raped and strangled Hawke-Petit and set the fire that killed the girls. Prosecutor Michael Dearington tells the jury he will not present an opening statement. Bank of America employees testify about Jennifer Hawke-Petit's efforts to get money for the men holding her family hostage.
September 20, 2011: Dr. Petit takes the stand and describes the beating he suffered on the night of the invasion. At the lunch break, he tells The Hartford Courant that testifying the second time "was more nerve-wracking. I tried to stay calm." Unlike in the last trial, Petit is cross-examined, with the defense attempting to show his memory about the events that night is faulty.
September 21, 2011: Jurors hear Komisarjevsky's taped confession, in which he says he talked with 11-year-old Michaela Petit in her bedroom about music, "school and summer plans" and "ended up performing oral sex on her." In the confession, he says he and Hayes were there for the money only, and it was a "a home invasion gone terribly wrong." Judge Blue cuts the day short when at least two jurors are visibly upset.
September 23, 2011: Defense lawyers move for a mistrial, saying that the grief shown on the faces of Petit family members the day before as the recording played was affecting the jury. Blue denies the motion. More recorded testimony is heard, in which Komisarjevsky asserts again his intent was to get the money, not to kill the family. He also denies lighting matches or spreading gasoline, saying those were solely the doing of Hayes.
September 26, 2011: An associate state medical examiner who performed the autopsy on Hayley Petit, Dr. Malka Shah, testifies she died of smoke inhalation and carbon monoxide poisoning. The autopsy revealed remnants of rope tied around Hayley's right wrist and ankles and soot in her nose and mouth. The remains of her clothing smelled of gas. Prosecutors note that Komisarjevsky admitted he tied both girls to their beds and left them tied when the fire started. Cheshire police Det. Joseph Vitello testifies that Komisarjevsky initially told him he may have poured gasoline in the Petit home. Defense contends that Komisarjevsky was under duress when he made remarks to police, and that, unlike Hayes, he was cooperative with police after being caught.
September 27, 2011: Jurors see photos of burned bedrooms where Hayley and Michaela Petit were tied up and the bloody basement where the intruders beat Dr. Petit. Surveillance photos show a man purported to be Steven Hayes buying gasoline at a gas station.
October 13, 2011: Jurors convict Komisarjevsky on all 17 counts making him eligible for the death penalty.
December 9, 2011: Komisarjevsky sentenced to death by jury after deliberating 20 hours over five days.
April 25, 2012: Gov. Dan Malloy signs bill that eliminates capital punishment going forward. The law is prospective, effectively applying only to new cases and keeping in place death sentences imposed on 11 men currently on death row, including Hayes and Komisarjevsky.
August 5, 2012: William Petit marries 34-year-old photographer Christine Paluf.
October 2012: Hayes, in a letter to The Courant, says he is the subject of "cruel and unusual punishment" by prison staff at Northern Correctional Institution in Somers, and wants to waive his appeals and proceed to his execution. Legal experts say it is unlikely he will be killed within 20 years.
Tuesday, April 23, 2013: The Connecticut Supreme Court hears arguments challenging the prospective death penalty law. Assistant Public Defender Mark Rademacher argues it is unconstitutional because it is arbitrary and abolition of the death penalty should apply across the board. A ruling is expected in the coming months.
July 24, 2013: The Courant reports that an attorney for Komisarjevsky might seek a new trial on grounds that the defense was not provided tapes of calls to the police department on the morning of the murders.
October 11, 2013:William Petit tells the press he is considering a run for Congress in the 5th District against Democratic U.S. Rep. Elizabeth Esty.
November 23, 2013: Christine Petit gives birth to a son, William Arthur Petit III.
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