01:49 AM EDT 11/24/2014

Add PEOPLE News

William Petit

Credit: John Muldoon/Polaris
Second Man Convicted in Petit Family Murders

Joshua Komisarjevsky Convicted in Petit Family Murders

Originally posted 10/13/2011 05:00PM

A Connecticut jury has found Joshua Komisarjevsky guilty of helping murder Dr. William Petit's wife and two daughters in 2007.

Komisarjevsky, 31, now has a penalty hearing on whether he will join his accomplice Steven Hayes – who was convicted of 16 charges, including murder, last year – on death row.

Petit family members wept as the verdict was announced after nine hours of deliberation. Komisarjevsky was convicted on a litany of charges including murder, kidnapping, arson, burglary and assault in the brutal deaths of Jennifer Hawke-Petit, 48, Hayley Petit, 17, and Michaela Petit, 11.

Read More

Credit: John Muldoon/Polaris
Trial Begins for Second Defendant in Connecticut Home Invasion Case

Trial Begins for Second Defendant in Connecticut Home Invasion Case

Originally posted 09/20/2011 06:00AM

Dr. William Petit is expected to take the stand Tuesday, the second day in the trial of the other man accused of killing the Connecticut doctor's wife and two daughters in 2007. On Monday, the jury heard witness testimony and recorded 9-1-1 calls.

Joshua Komisarjevsky, 31, faces 17 charges in the grisly incident, which began as a home invasion and ended when the house was set on fire with the Petit family – Dr. Petit, the sole escapee, as well as his wife, Jennifer Hawke-Petit, 47, and their daughters, Hayley, 17, and Michaela, 11 – inside.

Hawke-Petit was strangled to death and the girls, who were both tied to their beds, died of smoke inhalation, investigators concluded.

Read More

Credit: John Muldoon/Polaris
Dr. William Petit Jr.: 'I Don't Think You Can Forgive Ultimate Evil'

Dr. William Petit Jr.: 'I Don't Think You Can Forgive Ultimate Evil'

Originally posted 12/08/2010 02:50PM

Dealing with the extraordinarily tragic events that changed his life forever – and the death sentence rendered to one of the two men who assaulted and killed his wife and two daughters – Dr. William Petit Jr. says, "I don't think you can forgive ultimate evil."

Speaking to Oprah Winfrey in an interview that will air on her show Thursday, Dr. Petit said, "You can forgive somebody who stole your car. You can forgive somebody who slapped you in the face. You can forgive somebody who insulted you. You can forgive somebody who caused an accident. I think forgiving the essence of evil is not appropriate."

Last week, Connecticut Superior Court Judge Jon Blue imposed a death sentence on Steven Hayes, 47, one of two men accused of killing Dr. Petit's family in a July 2007 home invasion. Before Judge Blue officially sentenced Hayes, Dr. Petit gave a 30-minute victim impact statement about the night Hayes and Joshua Komiserjevsy, 30, held him and his family hostage in their Cheshire, Conn., home.

Read More

Filed Under: William Petit
Credit: John Muldoon/Polaris
Dr. William Petit to Court: I Considered Suicide

Dr. William Petit to Court: I Considered Suicide

Originally posted 12/02/2010 01:05PM

Dr. William Petit Jr. told a packed Connecticut courtroom on Thursday how his life was shattered forever the night his wife and two daughters were murdered during a July 2007 home invasion, calling that night "my own personal Holocaust."

"I lost my entire family," Dr. Petit, speaking for nearly 30 minutes, said as part of his victim-impact statement. "I lost shared records of our entire lives together due to the fire. Plus I lost my past and my future."

While a jury sentenced Steven Hayes, 47, to death last month for his role in the murders, the judge did not officially impose the sentence until Thursday.

Read More

Credit: AP
Jury: Put Steven Hayes to Death for Petit Murders

Jury: Put Steven Hayes to Death for Petit Murders

Originally posted 11/08/2010 12:40PM

Steven Hayes was sentenced to death by a Connecticut jury on Monday for his role in the violent 2007 home invasion, robbery and arson that killed Jennifer Hawke-Petit and her two daughters.

The panel had deliberated for slightly more than three full days. Hayes, 47, sat motionless at the defense table as the recommendation was made in the courtroom. He had been found guilty of six death-penalty counts on Oct. 5.

The other defendant in the case, Joshua Komisarjevsky, 30, goes to trial on the same charges next year. The two men stood accused of holding the family of Dr. William Petit hostage for hours before setting the house on fire.

Dr. Petit's wife, Jennifer-Hawke-Petit, 47, was strangled to death. Their daughters, 11-year-old Michaela and 17-year-old Hayley, died of smoke inhalation.

Read More

Advertisement
Credit: AP
Steven Hayes Guilty of Murdering Connecticut Doctor's Family

Steven Hayes Guilty of Murdering Connecticut Doctor's Family

Originally posted 10/05/2010 01:20PM

After only a few hours of deliberation, a Connecticut jury found Steven Hayes, a former parolee with a long history as a petty criminal, guilty of killing Dr. William Petit Jr's. wife and two daughters in a 2007 home invasion.

The verdict capped four weeks of testimony, much of it centered around descriptions and photographs of how the Petit women died. The testimony and evidence were so graphic that family members had to leave the courtroom.

Outside the courthouse after the verdict was read Dr. Petit told reporters he feels "some relief." But he added, "My family is still gone. It doesn't bring them back. It doesn't bring back the home that we had but certainly a guilty verdict is a better sense of relief than a verdict of not guilty."

Hayes was found guilty on 16 out of 17 counts: The only charge he was found not guilty of was arson, reports the New Haven Register. Of those crimes for which he was found guilty, six make him eligible for the death penalty.

Read More

From Our Partners