Dr. William Petit Speaks About Steven Hayes, Joshua Komisarjevsky
Dr. William Petit Took the Stand to Testify in the Trial Against Steven Hayes and Joshua Komisarjevsky, Who Killed His Wife Jennifer Hawke-Petit and His Daughters Hayley and Michaela in a Brutal Home Invasion
Dr. William Petit was beaten to within an inch of his life, while his wife and one of his daughters were raped and all three were killed and tortured on one fateful night in 2007.
Steven Hayes and Joshua Komisarjevsky are now on trial for their part in the brutal deaths of the three females and have offered to plead guilty in exchange for life sentences. The prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for both however and the case has now gone to trial.
Steven Hayes in on trial now and once his is finished, then Joshua Komisarjevsky's can begin.
Dr. William Petit Takes the Stand
On Tuesday September 14, Dr. William Petit from Connecticut described the events of that night when he lost his entire family. Hayes and Komisarjevsky broke into his home, they beat Dr. Petit, raped his wife and one of his daughters and then set the house on fire.
Dr. Petit was asleep when he was woken up in what he described as a 'daze':
"I remember I awoke in a daze thinking or feeling ow, ow, ow. ... Something warm was running down the front of my face. ... I saw two people standing in front of the sofa. ... (a) person who was walking said if he moves put two bullets in him."
His wrists and ankles were then bound with rope and plastic ties and his face was covered before he was taken down the basement and tied to a pole.
"I heard moaning and thumps. I may have yelled out, 'Hey!' Then he said he heard someone upstairs say, 'You are alright, don't worry it's going to be all over in a couple minutes.' It was a different tone, it was much more sinister," he testified.
At one point Jennifer Hawke-Petit went to a bank and withdrew $15,000 from their bank account, but Dr. Petit said he did not really know what was going on. He did manage to free his hands and run up the stairs and make it to a neighbor's house for help.
"My heart felt like it was beating 200 beats per minute," he said, "like it was going to explode out of my chest."
He was covered in so much blood that his neighbors did not even recognize him.
His wife and his two daughters, Hayley, 17, and Michaela, 11, were already dead.
Steven Hayes is charged with sexually assaulting and strangling Jennifer Hawke-Petit, while Joshua Komisarjevsky is charged with sexually assaulting Michaela; both suspects then allegedly tied the two young girls to their beds, poured gas on them and set the house on fire.
The men then fled the house in the Petit's car, but were caught shortly after by police after ramming several of their cars.
Steven Hayes tried to commit suicide earlier this year, but now both men will go through a trail-by-jury to determine their fate.
For Dr. Petit, the process is painful, but he welcomed hearing the names of his lost loved ones in court.
"Most of the process tends to be one of depersonalization," Petit said. "I was actually pleased to hear their names to show it was personal, they were people, living people. They can't be there to give their side of the events."
Dr. Petit has set up the Petit Family Foundation.
Juror Drama in Steven Hayes' Case
After Dr. William Petit took the stand, one juror said to the judge that in his opinion the prosecution was not presenting the evidence of the case properly. He said that there appeared to be a 'lack of preparation' in the case with no contextualization, almost as if the jurors are expected to have prior knowledge.
Judge Jon Blue said that he had never had an outburst like this in the past 21 years and he granted a motion to dismiss the juror.
Two other jurors had already left on Monday as they did not want to see the crime photos and felt they could not be fair if they did not look at them.