Sep 30, 2010

State Granted More Time for Closing Arguments in Hayes Trial

In an interesting last- minute request, Attorney Ullmann filed a motion with the court that one of the Homicide charges against his client covering the Petit girls murders, to be changed to Arson Murder, which would then imply that Hayes didn't intend to kill Hayley and Michaela Petit in the fire.

But by asking for this change in the charge, Ullmann automatically infers that Hayes took part in setting the fires, perhaps even lighting the match - something that has been looming large as an unanswered question and has thus remained a big mystery: Which man set the fire, who lit the match?

Personally, I was surprised that the men were not automatically brought to a forensics lab that could have tried to determine who was likely to have ignited the gasoline trail - perhaps the FBI could have assisted the Cheshire police if no immediate areas contained a facility capable of this kind of forensic analysis, analysis key to this case.

I know that both men were wearing Gloves when they were arrested. Komsiarjevsky had surgical gloves on. I know that Hayes wreaked of gasoline and one of the mens shoes appeared to be burnt. That person is likely the culprit of the ignition , but we've heard nothing to this end and the testimony is over.

I am certain that pouring the Gasoline alone is enough to be criminally complicit in the murders of the Girls and with Hayes admitting to his cell- mate that he only poured gas in the "hallway" leads me to believe that his attorney is going to claim that he didn't pour the gasoline directly on the girls, probably inferring at least that co-defendant Joshua Komisarejevsky did this the most repulsive and criminally liable action-as it shows full afore-thought and intention to kill Hayely and Michaela Petit.
(*See yesterdays Post regarding the Guards testimony)

In any event, Judge Blue said no such luck. Incidentally, Arson Murder carries a lighter sentence than the two counts of murder in the first degree that Hayes is charged with for the children's deaths: Ullmann is doing whatever he can think of to try to deconstruct the amount of Capital charges and aggravating factors that his client is charged with,

The children's murders and their suffering are what really make this entire case "heinous" and the more capital charges and aggravating factors within those charges equals a greater chance that his client will receive a death penalty verdict within the penalty phase. Therefore this move on Ullmanns behalf, gives us a peek into what his closing argument might look like.

In the meantime, lead Prosecutor Michael Dearington asked the court for more time for his closing argument, citing the mountain of evidence that must be covered. Judge Blue granted the extra time, despite the Defense's quick objection. ( Ullmann probably objects reflexively in his sleep).

Closing arguments will begin Friday morning with the State presenting their argument first. There is an old dictum that whoever is the last to close has the advantage, as the sentiment/message covered last will tend to sit with the jury longer and in this case being on a Friday, the defenses assertions could sit with them all weekend before they are given their formal charges/instructions re deliberations on Monday morning. This will likely take most of the day as the Judge must instruct the jury upon each of the charges filed against Steven Hayes.

Although many a seasoned prosecutor/lawyer has been trotted out to say that there is no such thing as a slam dunk for any prosecution on any case, no matter how overt the defendants guilt nor damning the evidence may seem, I still believe that we can throw away the proverbial last guy to argue edge in this case. Besides I believe that Ullmann is saving his zeal for the penalty phase of the trial, same as he did in the Jonathon Mills case, which eerily had all of the same players as this case including Ullmann, Dearington and Judge Blue.

The mills case was also a triple murder involving children. In that case Ullmann argued most aggressively during the penalty phase of that trial--citing a myriad of Mitigating factors" which are required in order for a Jury to ask for leniency in sentencing the defendant in such cases. He used evidence of Mills' childhood abuse, drug addiction and alleged impairment during the crimes-the latter was found not verifiable by the Jury, but Mills was spared the Death Penalty nonetheless and received life without the chance of parole instead.

No doubt that Thomas Ullmann, a high profile local anti-death penalty activist, felt vindicated in" saving another child murderer from what was his criminal accountability.

Sep 28, 2010

Officer Overheard Steven Hayes Admit to Petit Murder

I must say that some things here are not adding up insofar as what this guard heard.
It leads me to wonder if this conversation wasn't "designed to be heard." or if Hayes wasn't simply ashamed of killing a mother and two young girls, and was trying to make excuses for his actions to a curious and possibly disgusted cell -mate. (yes, even criminals have certain lines they dont cross)

The fact that Hayes told the other inmate that once he saw the police patrol car drive by the house he was thus emboldened to kill Jennifer Petit, (whom he had just raped), does not fit with what multiple evidence has borne out regarding this timeline, and the two murderers lack of awareness of Police presence.

If you were a lifetime petty criminal and knew the cops were outside and you hadn't escalated a set of crimes to homicide yet, someone like Hayes is certainly not going to decide at that point, okay nows the time , lets kill the first person now.

It also flies in the face of Dr Petit's earlier testimony that when he heard moaning and dragging, and weighted objects being dropped above him from where he lay tied up in his basement, he reported that he yelled out hey!" and one of the murderers said in a sinister voice saying
"Don't worry it will all be over soon. This is way too cool and collected for two men who were aware that there was a Police presence driving around.

In Hayes' original statement to Cheshire P.D, Komisarjevsky tied Mrs Petit back up as soon as they came back from the bank with the money. We cannot be certain who tied her, but I don't see why Hayes would lie about this detail, as he had nothing to gain from it.

He'd already admitted to tying up Mrs Petit and the girls and/or helping Komisarjevsky multiple times, earlier in the home invasion. In either scenario, this moment is the moment that I have fixed upon in my own mind a thousand times since these crimes occurred.

As a survivor of violent crime, I cannot help but put myself in Jennifer Petit's shoes at that crucial moment when she returned with Hayes to her home, expecting/praying the men would leave with their money and release her family from this hellish ordeal. Then, he turned on her, or both did.

Hayes said in his original statement to police, komsiarjevsky tiedher back up. Forensics show that Mrs Petit had a rope around her neck when she died, and this shows pre-meditated homicide on the part of whoever tied her. There is only one reason someone puts a rope around another persons neck, it is not necessary in the restraining process and it the original intent was just tie her up in order to sexually assault her-why a veritable noose around her neck?

And as we know Hayes did then sexually assault her. Komisarjevsky might or might not have egged him on, but rape cannot happen if the rapist is nervous. My guess is that Hayes had been "chomping on the bit to get at her and Komisrajevsky had held him back-until they got the money they needed her compliance.

Then Hayes claimed Komisarjevsky was in and out of the room during the rape. I believe this is true but he was probably nervous that things were down to the wire and he wanted to get rid of the rest of the "evidence" and witnesses.

And while I cannot be 100 percent certain that this was the first full blown sexual assault of Mrs Petit that day( the men broke in to the home at 3 a.m. and that's a lot of empty time),
I think that had Petit been sexually assaulted prior in the evening in any "aggravated fashion"
ie violent penetration, she would have seen the men's true potential for violence at that point, realized what could lay in store for her daughters and would have surely run away from Hayes at the bank.

She would now have known was her only hope to save the family, as these were vicious animals who were surely going to kill all of them once they got the money. Remember, Jenifer Petit told the bank teller that"they said they wouldn't hurt anyone as long as police wern't called and she "believed them."

This misplaced trust was largely due to Komisarjevsky, the consummate sociopath, manipulator
doing most of the talking: He placated her,assured her, won her trust and might have very well
had Hayes hold back from raping her-until after they got the 10,000, thereby insuring her compliance. The original the men demanded was 10,000 but Jennifer withdrew 15,000 in an attempt to buy the mens goodwill.

Also heavy on komsiarjevskyu's mind when keeping Jennifer Petit calm and cooperative was the the looming opportunity to commit sexual assault on 11 year old Michaela, the whole reason for the home invasion in the first place. As I've stated , I believe the money was an unintended bonus, it was welcome but incidental to the original plan which revolved around control, dominance and violence which is what all rape is about.

I believe komisarjevsky had been molesting the girl surreptitiously on the sly from her mother, who was tied up in a separate part of the house for most of the invasion.
Photos taken on Komisrajevsky' cellphone at approximately 7:am show that he was taking pictures of her nude as well as in various different outfits, tied to her bed in sexual positions.
He even dressed Michaela in a schoolgirl outfit-a plaid short skirt a sleeveless top and white underwear- classic pedophile behavior.

All of this flies in the face of Komisarjevskys previous claims of accidentally discovering Michaela at only 11 was as developed as his girlfriend-a claim he's tried to sell to various people as an excuse for raping an 11 year old girl,. The facts are that He went to that home intent on raping this girl for hours enlisting the help of Hayes who he needed in order to insure he was able to keep the house under control.

I am certain that he proposed the plot to Hayes in a way that revolved around the sexual asssualts of the women in the house and clearly Hayes in his text messages to Komisrajesvky on the eve of the crimes, proved that he was anxious to get the crimes in action.

Komsarjevsky wrote atext to Hayes in response to Hayes repeated texts asking if he was ready to go;
JK : "Hold your horses I'm putting the kid to bed"
(" The kid" - speaks volumes doesnt it?)
Hayes : "Dude...the horses are dying to get out... lol."
Between these words, one can could feel the sick sexual inference.

Judge: State To Rest Its Case In Steven Hayes Trial

It looks like the "State of Connecticut vs. Steven Hayes" will end even sooner than was anticipated, this according to an announcement by Judge Blue this morning.

By end of the day, both the State and Defense remarkably had rested with the Defense only giving a total 40 minute presentation of it's entire case. Not a big surprise, considering the overwhelming mountain of evidence that had just been presented for weeks against Steven Hayes.

Sep 27, 2010

Petit Foundation's Ride for Justice benefits worthy causes

Amidst all of the difficulty and pain of a well-publicized criminal trial, comes this beautiful benefit.

"Ride For Justice" was held this Sunday in honor of Jennifer, Hayley and Michaela Petit, each of whom "never had a bad thought in their heads, nor their hearts" according to husband and father William Petit Jr. who spear-headed the day's events.

The event raised 60,000 for The Petit Family Foundation
a non-profit formed by Bill Petit shortly after the crimes. The foundation helps victims of violent crime, people suffering with chronic illness and several other deserving charitable endeavors.
It was a perfect infusion of positive energy, with such a colorful display of unwavering support, indeed love,to the Petit and Hawke families, from the people in the community as well as all corners of the state.

Ride For Justice Recap 2010 from Clem Kasinskas on Vimeo.

Komisarjevsky's Attorney Possibly Found In Contempt

This drama began last Thursday when there was some particularly disturbing testimony by the chief medical examiner who performed the autopsy on little 11 year old Michaela Petit.
It was a painful revelation to all attending to discover that semen was discovered on swabs taken from inside little Michaela's body in an area that clearly proved that she was sodomized during the crimes.

Most of us had read that Michaela had been the primary target of Joshua Komisarjevsky, who is believed to have chosen the Petit's home specifically because of his attraction to Michaela, who he'd spotted earlier that day at a local Stop and Shop parking lot, and he believed his accomplice Hayes would like the "pretty young looking Petit mother" ( Komisarjevsky's own words ).

We knew Michaela had been sexually assaulted, along with her mother Jennifer Petit, although the details of the assault were not made public until recently, mostly due to a gag order that was placed on the case very early on. It applied to law enforcement, all attorneys, Judges and the defendants as well.

I have been quite vocal regarding my assertions that Komisarjevsky was the "brains" behind these crimes, although there is no doubt that Hayes shares equal criminal accountability.
And now, in true sociopath form, Komisarjevsky has probably bamboozled his own Attorney, who it sounds as if he believes, or at least desperately wants to believe, what his client is claiming regarding the sexual assault of Michaela, who was only 11 years old.

This is a bit of a surprise considering Donovan's years of experience, but I have to admit that sociopaths are an entirely different breed of criminal , and even some of the most seasoned crime professionals have found themselves duped by them, especially by the more articulate and intelligent criminals who have this full blown pathology.

Of course, there is also the possibility that Donovan doesn't believe a word that he himself is saying, and that this is all subterfuge designed to alleviate the major damage done to his client's reputation by the forensic evidence presented during the week's proceedings in the Hayes trial. (which Donovan has strangely enough been allowed to attend)

In either case, within a surprise mini-news conference held outside of New haven Superior court Friday morning, State public defender Jeremiah Donovan made a bizarre, and extremely inappropriate announcement, using the press to address Dr. Petit and his family.

The statement summed up that upon hearing the reported testimony regarding the semen samples found within Michaela Petit's partially burned body, proving that she had been sodomized before being set afire, "Josh" immediately wanted to ameliorate the emotional pain that the Petit family must be experiencing, (lest they needlessly carry that pain all the way up until Komisarejvsky's trial,) citing that he did not sodomize and 11 year old child and fetched Donovan to say so to the world with all camera's trained upon him!

I saw something like this coming, but I had the timing all wrong. I hardly thought that Komisarjevsky's lawyer would be carrying this guys B.S into the fray in the middle of Hayes trial, and under the guise of saving the Petit family unnecessary grief. I was outraged, as I listened to Donovan carry his clients water, in typical mealy- mouthed- lawyer fashion,on the steps of the New Haven courthouse.

But Komisarjevsky and Donovan purposely did not save this supposed revelation for their opening statement in his own trial. This is a blatant attempt to nullify evidence and influence the potential jury pool, all of whom sit "out there " someplace, likely reading about this trial and the latest developments. Whether it is Komisarjevsky his lawyer or both knowingly deceiving the public doesn't matter - Donovan knows better.

A Contempt of Court Order was filed promptly against Donovan this weekend. See the attached order below.

Sep 26, 2010

Petit Family Foundation Ride For Justice!

The Petit Family Foundation Ride for Justice will be held at 11:30 a.m. on Sunday, September 26th, 2010 and will leave from Yankee Harley Davidson in Bristol, CT through some backwoods of CT and end at Bozzuto’s in Cheshire, CT with a BBQ until around 6 p.m.. Outback Steakhouse will be providing the food (steak, chicken and all the fixin’s) for all riders and passengers following the event. Entertainment will consist of a live band to be announced. Trantolo & Trantolo, LLC is helping the Foundation set up the ride and promote the race throughout the community.

Registration at Yankee Harley Davidson is from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m.. Ride leaves at 11:30 a.m..

Cost: $25.00 per Rider, $15.00 per passenger. Walk-ins - $15.00.
Sponsors: PLATINUM, $1,000 (logo will be printed on t-shirt); GOLD, $500 (name will be printed on t-shirt); SILVER, $ 250 - $500

To volunteer, e-mail Kimberly Hazelton at
For more information, e-mail Lenny Brown at
Follow the event on Facebook and get more information.

Sep 25, 2010

Fire marshal testifies Friday at Hayes Trial for Petit Family Murders

Today's testimony about the fire once again confirmed my worst fears regarding the crimes and the Petit girl's deaths.

A few months before the crimes I wrote a post about a young college girl at NYU who was raped and tortured all night and left for dead in her off- campus apartment by a repeat sexual predator. In the morning, in an attempt to kill the girl and destroy the DNA evidence, the man poured an accelerant on to her as she lay helplessly bound to her bed, he lit a match and ran out leaving her to die.

Miraculously, the girl used the fire to burn her restraints off and somehow managed to escape the rapidly growing fire, with only mild to moderate burns in addition to severe injuries inflicted by the assailant who was later caught, tried and sentenced to life in prison.

I'd wondered if something like this is what happened with Hayley Petit : Perhaps the fire simply burned the ropes off of her, easily imagined considering the ferocity of it via the gasoline that was strategically and liberally poured upon her body and bed-linens.

When I recently saw the evidence photo of her fire-torn bedroom and the extent of the damage to that bed, my heart sank. I could see right away that there was no way she could have avoided the flames directly, and as such, the fire likely did burn through her binds, rather than the earlier reports that she had somehow "managed to break free of her ties"

I'm not sure how much more heartache that I, nor the rest of the public following this case, can take. The pain is simply boundless. Anyone who knows about these crimes has been deeply traumatized by them . It reaches in to our very core as human beings as it flouts every belief system that we have regarding what it means to be human.
And then then there's the system : As more and more of the evidence is presented, along with the pain, I find myself becoming angrier and angrier.

And that anger is not just aimed at the two men that committed these cruel and cowardly acts, but almost worse - the Connecticut Judicial system, particularly the Parole Board and whatever entity sets the standards for how leniently the state treated their most dangerous repeat offenders.The parole board Chaired by Bob Farr at the time (Farr was again rather surreptiously re-appointed Chairman to the "new and improved" Board formed in the aftermath) released these two career felons, and as per their instructions, the DOC went on to remove Komisarjevskys ankle tracking bracelet two days prior to the Petit crimes. He and Hayes were out robbing houses the very same night the DOC anklet was taken off.

Two days later, Jennifer, Hayley and Michaela Petit were dead and William Petit was severely wounded and in a state of all-consuming grief.

I find it strange that I haven't heard one media outlet, nor web news source covering this trial, make even passing mention about those fatal flaws in Connecticut's Judicial system/ Parole Board that so clearly enabled these crimes to happen.

There is no doubt in my mind that Komisarjevsky was the instigator behind the crimes, He used Hayes as necessary brawn, He clearly lacked brawn at an emaciated looking 5 11 130 lbs. Steven Hayes who is 5 7 and 175 lbs when arrested has dropped considerable weight in prison and barely resembles the imposing man he was at the time of the crimes, clearly seen in earlier Police Photos. Bottomline was, he needed a second guy.

Komisarjevsky was supposed to be in prison for nine - count em - nine years, as per the wishes of the presiding Judge who sentenced him for his last string (string!) of home break-ins - calling them Robberies is a misnomer. This was a man who only broke into homes when people were in them-he described it later as a "form of extreme sport" This is a very different breed indeed than the person who robs for either a) drug money or b) money for whatever greedy or desperate purposes he has.

Instead of being in prison for nine years , Joshua Komisarjevsky was out of prison and into a halfway house after only two and a half years served in prison. And that time was served in a one man cell away from the other inmates at his own request, as he reported being harassed in the General population.

My guess is he was simply anticipating what he would likely go through as a very slight and somewhat feminine looking young man in prison, another fabrication enlisting his parents and prison officials, and once again those same enabling parents and his lawyer intervened once again, and he was quickly removed from any threats, and spent the rest of his short lived sentence protected, alone reading, writing letters, and complaining about how short his exercise time outside was, due to his solitary status. He had visits from his parents and then girlfriend/ mother of his child, she herself not much more than a child at 15 years of age when she became pregnant.

What all of this amounted to was Komisrarjevsky being out of the custody of the DOC after considerably less than half his sentence, and that "time" was not even fully served behind prison bars! This guy had been marked by the presiding Judge way back, that alone is a rarity in most of Connecticut courts, particularly those that preside over larger cities (ie busier, more apt to make oversights, in the name of laziness, speedy adjudication, heavy dockets etc)

This was Komisarjevsky's second such strings of house break-ins, home invasions by State definition today, and his felony charges at the age of 24 had already topped 30!
And remember, his total number of charges were already reduced within multiple plea bargains which were, and still are the preferred method of resolving both violent and non violent offenses in Connecticut.

These strings of crimes in fact consisted of many, many many homes that this man was in and out of on a daily basis, using tools like night vision goggles which he ordered on the Internet, to stalk his victims prior to the break in, carrying knives to supposedly slash screens,. and stealing lingerie and photos of the women, and on occasion multiple family members that lived in the homes.

With the sheer quantities of break-ins alone, there were red flags everywhere and one judge actually caught a few. Labeling Komisarjevsky "a dangerous predator who posed a serious threat to the Connecticut public ( komisarjevsky would later boast about being called a dangerous predator in the halfway house that he wound up in) A strict nine years sentence , plus 6 years of special parole, which was to include intensified supervision, this was the judges intention. This can be found verbatim in his last sentencing hearing report.

Despite his middle class roots, church going parents that dutifully showed up to their sons hearings, despite the suit and tie that his attorney dressed him in and despite the infant child that Komisarjevsky and co. surely tried to use as a prop, hoping to impart either a feigned credibility or another staged solicitation of leniency for himself, using the child and her mother

Note *This is the same child that komisarjevsky referred to in his text messages to Hayes on the night of the Petit murders saying "hold your horses, I'm putting the kid to bed". "The kid." --- Speaks volumes doesn't it?And still, the Judge was unusually stern and unwavering in his sentencing decision regarding this young offender before him, who he knew was certain to escalate to further violence- if not stopped now dead in his tracks by the Connecticut Court System. But his wishes, indeed his instructions, were not realized, nor even considered when the Connecticut Parole Board didn't bother to acquire komisarjevsky's criminal file, as they hadn't for most of the inmates whose names were up before them for Parole consideration at that time.

This was all supposedly due to conflicts regarding copying costs between the prosecutor's departments that handled the criminal cases, and the Parole board. The prosecutors refused to foot the incremental copying costs for copying the criminals files-they felt the parole dept should pay for this if they needed it.

As such, despite periodic protestations from the Parole board that they could not make responsible decisions regarding the inmates that they alone set loose, the issue was not resolved for years, and men and women were paroled regularly nonetheless.

This wasn't one Parole foul-up, this was in fact the daily operating mess that was The Connecticut Judicial system.

In Komisarjevsky's case, the only paperwork the Connecticut Parole board had in their possession was a simple arrest report for his very last arrest - and it was with that one scant bit of information, that Joshua Komisarjevsky was "administratively paroled",A term that means he was not even present for his parole hearing, as was also the standard custom for parole in Connecticut at that time.

His sentence was to include six years special parole, which his Judge clearly felt necessary to protect the people of this state from this man who's breaking into homes only where people lay sleeping in them - Violence was just a matter of time. In fact, the judge had stated verbatim that he intended Komisarjevsky to be" through with the Dept of Corrections by the time he was 37 years old ( he was 24 at that time ) if he used his time in prison wisely"

Joshua Komisrajevsky was 26 when he murdered Jennifer Hayley and Michaela Petit - his ankle bracelet had been removed by the State of Connecticut two days earlier.

Hayes Trial Resumes Tuesday

The Judge in the Trial against Steven Hayes announced that the State should rest its case by the end of next week. Blue stated that he was optimistic regarding how quickly the proceedings were going and he gave the Jury(and the families) Monday off as a result of the pace as well I/m sure the very difficult week of testimony that both the Jury and families endured.

In the meantime Joshua Komisrajevskys Attorney made an exceedingly inappropriate announcement of his own ,outside the New Haven courthouse yesterday, in effect breaking the gag order placed on the case by Judge Damiani over two years ago.

As it was clearly yet another attempt to manipulate the facts of this case, in a scrambling effort to play down his culpability- with the potential Jury pool ( IE that resides somewhere within the Connecticut public) Komisarjevsky, a classic sociopath, using his attorney as his mouthpiece has no shame. I'm not going to even dignify he and his Lawyers claims as it is more fodder, but Suffice to say every bit of forensic evidence introduced in this trial thus far has proven exactly what I expected and that is that all of Komisarjevskys versions of these crimes were/are fabrications. designed to throw the ownice for the worst of the crimes onto Hayes(- and anyone else he can think of) All behaviors that follow the sociopath personna to a tee.

The evidence speaks for itself .

Sep 23, 2010

Trial for Steven Hayes Validates Worst Fears Re Petit Crimes

Note; This Blog centers around issues concerning violent crime, violence against women and victims rights. It is based out of Fairfield County Connecticut.

I have been writing about The Petit family crimes since shortly after they happened. Considering the focus of my blog and the nature and proximity of these crimes Chasing Justice soon began to focus much of its energy around the crimes, as well as the legislative happenings that emanated from the discovery of certain fatal flaws within Connecticut's Judicial system that basically enabled the Petit crimes to happen.

It has been a long road and there is a lot of information gathered, and written about, within three years of Postings. The very first Posts can be found in the September 2007 archives ( be certain to hit older posts once you are within that month/year, listed to the right of the Blog) and they continue consistantly until the present trial.

It is an intense read and cannot nor should not be quickly scanned as one would scan a series's of tweets. I suggest for those interested in finding out more about this case, particularly how it was enabled to happen) to parse the posts out over time and give them a chance to settle.

Chasing Justice aims to exist on a different plane than most of the online News and media sources that have concurrently followed this "story".
As a survivor of violent crime, I write with the victims of all crimes, foremost in my mind, And every word that I do pen, is driven by a desire to be a voice for all victims of violence, especially those who have been silenced, either by the hands of their assailants, by their own trauma, or , by a system that does not care to listen to them.
I write with an eye on Change within that system, and this begins as any true change does - with truth.

Day six
Unfortunately, the information gleaned from today's testimony at the Trial for Steven Hayes, verified all that I believed-and feared took place on the morning of July 23 2007 concerning motive and details of the crimes committed against Jennifer, Hayley and Michaela Petit.

The text messages that the men made prior to the crimes alone told me, that as I'd strongly suspected, this was a crime well planned and one that revolved around sexual violence. I have staunchly believed from the start that the money was secondary to these two reprobates, it was a bonus to them, likely unplanned and perhaps I thought had been a desperate attempt by Jennifer Petit to buy the men's goodwill, even bribing them to leave her daughters alone-ie to not sexually abuse them. I believed that this was a very plausible scenario.

I also felt in my gut that Michaela had most likely been fully sexually assaulted, especially once I had learned that there were cell phone photos taken of her in the shower - that information had leaked out shortly after the crimes in the fall of 2007, I knew right away that this was an attempt to rid her body of the DNA that he or both men had left upon her little body. And i could not believe that as all reports seemed to be saying that Hayley somehow had evaded any sexual molestation. It did not stand to reason that two sexual predators wouldn't take advantage of every female in the house, even considering Komisarjevskys pedophiliac preferences.

I also feared that although the girls had technically died of smoke inhalation, they had probably suffered burns from the fire as well, before they died. It seemed to me then that the fire happened so quickly once lit and although I wished and hoped for a scenario where both girls were quickly overcome and rendered unconscious from the smoke and passed in this way.

I knew this was likely not the case, especially after hearing where poor Hayley's body was found; on top of the stairs directly within the line of the poured and lit gasoline. That information came out long before the official gag order was put on the case, making details, especially credible details from law enforcement etc. very scant.

Upon learning about these crimes in July 2007 by a friend and client who worked for Bank of America, I became increasingly upset for months, easily imagining the girls terror, during both the assaults as well the last horrendous minutes of the fire and the murders.

As I put the bits and pieces of information together that were leaking out through various sources on the Internet etc I was particularly bothered by report after report citing this as a "robbery gone awry"

All kinds of pundits were trounced out to give their idea of what had probably happened in the Petit home and they all seemed to believe that it was a "burglary turned into something terrible once Dr Petit was surprisingly encountered by the burglar's downstairs in the home

Some shows like Dateline even had pundit/guests that almost sounded as if they were laying blame on poor Dr Petit for being downstairs and thus provoking the rest of the crime spree. All completely incorrect assumptions.

I knew at once that these crimes revolved around sexual assaults violence power and control. Likely common traits that these two men undoubtedly discovered they shared when they began to socialize at the Hartford halfway House c/o state of Connecticut, where they initially met.

Eventually, or perhaps right off the bat, they clicked onto their shared fantasies of rape and sexual sadism and it was a matter of time before they discussed a plan to live it out.

In the meantime, I was growing increasingly sick and tired of the media and the press getting it wrong. This wasn't about being right, unwittingly the media were aiding and abetting these men, promoting this much more innocuous and less sinister, version of a break- in gone bad. Extremely important, as it indicated motive and the issue of premeditation, which is essential to the capital crimes charges against both men.

In early September, I set out to right at least this one wrong, which I knew with my power of the pen, I could do. Looking back to the September 2007 archives, this is when I'd recovered enough to begin writing about the crimes and setting things straight. I haven't stopped since.

I have to admit that I wished and hoped for another scenario a million times, a different ending, and I prayed that it was not as bad as I suspected it was for Mrs Petit and the girls, yet from the facts that I had accumulated by then, combined with what I knew about the mind of sociopaths' and sexual sadists feeding off one another, I knew instinctively it was.

Today's testimony only gave complete credence to my assertions and fears, and even managed to surpass them. I am disgusted and filled with a grief that is so profound, words cannot describe it.

My heart goes out to the Petit and Hawke family's and all of their friends and loved ones. May God give them some respite and healing from all of this

Sep 22, 2010

Evidence too graphic for Dr. Petit, family

I do not understand why the Chief Medical Examiner, Dr Carver chose to be so very descriptive regarding the methods used in the autopsy of poor little Michaela Petit.

There was too much unnecessary information about the autopsy techniques and methodology, when the autopsy findings themselves, are what matter to the Jury, and ultimately the case.

Without intending to, Dr. Carver showed a terrible lack of sensitivity to the Petit and Hawke families, as well as the Jury, members of the media, and the general public in attendance today.

I am simply beyond words.

Testimony in Petit trial Re Photos of Michaela Petit retrieved from Cellphone day of the Murders

A Very draining day for the State of Connecticut vs Steven Hayes' Murder Trial
so far, and I suspect it is only going to get more difficult.

And it was also a strange day: approximately a half hour ago Judge Blue suddenly asked if anyone would like to confess.
There was no response, but it leads me to believe that either the Judge has a gut feeling or....
he has been made privy to the fact that Steven Hayes has been vacillating again regarding his Plea.

His Plea currently entered as Not Guilty, thus driving this trial to take place. However, several months ago, before the trial actually began, Hayes tried to change his plea to guilty seemingly out of nowhere during a standard
pre-trial proceeding, but Judge Fasano wouldn't allow it because believe it or not a defendant cannot technically plead guilty in a death penalty case at that particular stage in the proceedings!

In any event, Hayes lawyers' Ullmann and Culligan managed to talk him out of it and he reversed his Plea, but before they managed to persuade him they were scurrying about in a panic, going so far as to say that they would disclose attorney/ client privilege if need be, in order to prevent what they called " Hayes' committing' state assisted suicide. Funny, I call it taking accountability, a notion that is long considered archaic -at least in this state, anyway.

What an upside down system we have, where it is virtually impossible for a criminal to admit his culpability for taking another persons life. Neither the court nor judge, nor lawyers, will allow it.

After the Lunch -break, the proceedings have revolved around forensics concerning photos and videos related to the sexual assault of Michaela Petit.
State Police forensics expert gave testimony for the State detailing Photos taken of 11 year old Michaela and was then crossed by Attorney Culligan.

Hayes' partner in crime and co-defendant Joshua Komisarjevsky confessed to taking some photos of 11 year old Michaela, supposedly while Jennifer Petit was at the bank with Steven Hayes, withdrawing 15000 in order to buy her family's safety. It still remains to be seen exactly when all the photos were taken. This will likely be revealed via this testimony. Of course the Police had the phone in evidence so it was hardly a confession on behalf of Komisarjevsky.

Gas station store videos were also shown and examined of Hayes filling gas containers very early on the morning of the murders, at a station that was a good distance away from the Petit home.( Clearly they thought about not being seen at any local gas stations)

Hayes "emotionless"' in statement to State Police after Arrest

A state police detective testified today in graphic detail how Steven J. Hayes described the escalating violence he allegedly participated in during the Cheshire triple homicide.

State Police Detective Anthony Buglione testified he questioned Hayes for about 70 minutes at the Cheshire Police Department several hours after the crimes at the Petit house.

Buglione said Hayes was alert throughout the interview but was emotionless.

“He was pretty flat.”

Buglione said Hayes told him he met co-defendant Joshua Komisarjevsky 18 months before the crime at a half-way house and the two became friends. Hayes reportedly told Komisarjevsky he was “desperate” for money.

Hayes allegedly said the original plan was to break into a house, tie the people up, get their money and get out quickly.

Buglione said Hayes told him they went to the Petit house late at night and a man was asleep on the sun porch. Hayes allegedly said Komisarjevsky entered the house through an unlocked basement door, picked up a baseball bat and beat Dr. William Petit Jr.

Hayes then allegedly entered the house and they tied Petit up, telling him they were only there for the money.

Hayes allegedly said he and Komisarjevsky went upstairs looking for money and found Jennifer Hawke-Petit sleeping in bed with her daughter, Michaela Petit, 11, Buglione testified.

Hayes allegedly told Buglione that he and Komisarjevsky tied Hawke-Petit to her bed, tied Michaels to her own bed and then tied Hayley Petit, 17, to her bed.

Buglione testified that Hayes said when the pair found a bank book showing up to $30,000 in it, they decided to drive to the bank later that morning. Buglione said Hayes reported that he drove to a gas station to fill a canister with gas before going to the bank with Hawke-Petit.

Hayes told Buglione the plan was to put the Petits in their car and burn the house down, the detective testified.

But then Hayes allegedly told Buglione that Komisarjevsky said he had sex with Michaela while Hayes and Hawke-Petit were at the bank.

Hayes said Komisarjevsky told him to have sex with Hawke-Petit in order to “square things up,” Buglione testified.

Hayes allegedly said he did have sex with Hawke-Petit briefly.

He did not tell Buglione anything about how Hawke-Petit was strangled or who lit the fire, the detective testified.

Hayes simply said things “got out of control,” Buglione said

During pre-trial proceedings months ago, New Haven Chief Public Defender Thomas Ullmann objected to Buglione’s testimony about Hayes’ statement being allowed, because the interview was not tape recorded.

Judge Jon. C. Blue, however, allowed the testimony.

Buglione also said Hayes told him he gave Komisarjevsky $40 to buy a gun at a local Wal-Mart to scare people whose home they planned to break into.

SPECIAL SECTION: The Petit Slayings

Buglione’s testimony came late this morning as the Hayes’ trial resumed following several days of delay.

This morning state police Sgt. Karen Gabianelli resumed her testimony about evidence found at the scene of the home invasion.

Gabianelli presented a cell phone, boots and dog tags that belonged to co-defendant Joshua Komisarjevsky and clothing that both he and Hayes were wearing at the time of their arrests not far from the home of the Petit family on July 23, 2007. A BB gun, money and cell phone that were seized from Hayes also were shown to the jury.

Hayes, 47, of Winsted, went on trial last week. He faces 17 counts, including murder, in the deaths of Hawke-Petit, Michaela, and Hayley. Komisarjevsky, 30, of Cheshire, faces trial next year.

Gabianelli presented as evidence Hayley Petit’s hat from Miss Porter’s School, from which she graduated in 2007.

Hayes was wearing the hat when he was arrested, authorities said.

Gabianelli testified that a purple knapsack that had Hayley’s initials on it was found in a red pick up truck Hayes had borrowed. The truck was found in the parking lot of the Stop & Shop in Cheshire, where the defendants allegedly first saw Jennifer Hawke-Petit and her daughters.

The trial resumed Wednesday after two health-related delays.

Judge Blue was released from Yale-New Haven Hospital Monday afternoon, clearing the way for the resumption of the Hayes’ trial.

Blue today told jurors about his medical procedures. He said that he went to the hospital Sunday for tests but “unfortunately” the tests could not be done until Monday.

Blue said “I took them and I passed the tests with flying colors and was discharged” from the hospital Monday.

Hayes, according to his attorneys suffered a seizure or seizure-like symptoms last Wednesday night and was not fit enough to allow testimony to go forward last Thursday afternoon.

Dr. Petit , the sole survivor of the July 2007 home invasion and attack that claimed the lives of his wife and two daughters, was in the courtroom today. He has been there every day but Monday when Judge Roland Fasano reported the news about Blue’s condition. The Petit family had been told the news the night before.

The victims’ families released a statement Monday in response to the recent delays. It said, in part, “Despite this delay, we remain encouraged by the progress being made in this case and again, on behalf of the victims, Jennifer, Hayley and Michaela, are confident that in the end justice will prevail.”

If the jurors convict Hayes of the most serious charges, they will then begin a second phase of the trial to determine whether he should face the death penalty.

Judge Blue To return to Bench in Petit Trial Tommorow Morning

Sep 20, 2010

Cheshire Trial Offers Lessons, Raises Questions

Coincidentally, I sat next to the man who wrote this very well done commentary (linked above) during last Tuesdays courtroom proceedings. (Actually, squashed next to him would be a more apt description as the Courtroom had become standing room only as expected, forcing all of us to pack the benches like sardines.

Monday, being the first day of the trial, it stood to reason that the crowd, including the media, would be at its most prolific. Today it seemed attendance had thinned just a hair and this was enough for me to assume that as the trial progressed, public interest or just plain perseverance would wane just a bit, at least to the point where seating might not be such a commodity. After four days I'm not sure my logic was all that sound, for while yes, some of the public might become tired and drained by the proceedings and the neccesary machinations to simply get in and out of the courtroom. Other, new people will certainly fill in these vacancies, and on it will go, especially as the media attention sparks more and more interest in the case.

In any event, after waiting on two very long lines, one at the security entrance to the court and the second, upstairs at a second security checkpoint outside the courtroom, one stands for an hour, not certain if they'll make the grade, ie actually gain entry after all of this. But realizing that it is a necessary part of the process you do the only thing you can-you wait.

Once you do manage to get in clearing the official public seating quota, you try not to wear your relief all over your face. You make your way into the courtroom looking for a seat on the left side, where just the last several rows have any seating room at all and these, you know from prior instructions from the Connecticut Judicial Branch, are reserved for the "general public" .

Note: When I initially contacted the courthouse reps in charge of the " official" approved Press seating list, it was suggested to me that despite the fact that I might appear to fit the technical designation as a member of the press as defined by the Connecticut Judicial branch ie " a person or entity involved in the gathering of and disseminating of news" As a owner and author of a Blog, adding me would be like opening a Pandora's box of sort for all Blog owners who wish to attend with a Press pass. Needless to say, it wasnt going to happen.

From a practical standpoint, the rep politely suggested that I'd be more likely to get a seat as a member of the public anyway, considering there were substantially more seats reserved for the public than the press.

The first three rows behind the defense row of seating were to be the 25 first come first serve seating for the approved Press. However on opening day, it had become somewhat of of free for all in court room 6A, with press members spilling over into the seats reserved for the public.The fourth row is where I ultimately resided on Tuesday. In a seat technically reserved for the public but in actuality flanked by members of the press(which was fine by me) I sat with an over the shoulder view of a remarkably swift court room artist who was hastily capturing images of witnesses as they came and went throughout the days proceedings.

I sat on the hard wooden bench and was glad for my "spot" albeit a half a real persons spot, although at 5 3 and 115 lbs, I couldnt help but wonder if a larger person would have made it in at all. A few minutes of quiet murmurings and a rather Joltinhg "Court is in session, Judge Blue presiding "All Rise!" barked by
the baliff.

At this point, I must interject that attending this trial is truly a surreal experience, an emotional juxtaposition of sorts. At times you may sit through long periods of sometimes mundane and/or repetitive testimony/ lawyer-speak minutia, But believe it or not you will soon grow grateful for the mundane

for it becomes mini- respites from the upsetting, emotionally wrenching testimony and evidenciary viewings that are inevitable.

The courtroom happenings occur in fits and starts, either due to defense attorneys or prosecutors objections or "sidebar" requests ie "may we approach the bench your honor" type of thing and then quiet-( or not so quiet if you're lucky )murmurings from the bench which we, the onlookers, are not supposed to be privy to.

Sidebar requests would seem to be more common with the Defense than the prosecution, this via Attorney Thomas Ullmann, a fact that has not escaped the mostly good humored barbs of Judge Blue who at times grows understandably impatient with Ullmanns bull-dog like tendency to never relent re a point or disagreement with the bench.

Proceedings might be moving along relatively innocuously and then with little warning, a witness and accompanying evidence is introcuded and the next the thing you know, you are hearing about the smallest of details concerning another human being's terror and violent ends.

In this case, it is three human beings, a mother and her two young daughters,
as well the battered lone survivor, Dr William Petit, who sits in the courtroom on the right side flanked by his Friends and family, at times bracing his arms against the seats in front of him, as if to brace himself against the pain and anger that he must be feeling just being within a few feet from the man who assaulted and strangled his wife and is responsible for burning his two children to death.

Restraint and integrity seem the watchword for both the Petit and Hawke families. Despite Dr Petit's thoughtful and soft spoken demeanor, there runs a river of quiet strength and determination beneath a personae that literally smacks of decency. I sense there is a powerful force that likely stems from a deeply ingrained faith matched only by a enduring love and devotion for his stolen family, qualities clearly shared by his families.

To the left of the courtroom, and at various points in the day the lights are dimmed and we are shown evidence that is pertinent to the days testimony.
Much of it is upsetting, some of it almost unbearable to view. But view it we must, for it is has become testimony from beyond: from the three people whose lives we are here to honor by ensuring that justice is obtained for them: Jennifer, Hayley and Michaela Petit.
Rest in Peace, Angels.

Petit Judge Hospitalized, Postponing Petit family murder Trial

Now what?

Judge Blue who is presiding over the State of Connecticut vs. Steven Hayes,, suffered an episode of "light-headedness" yesterday and was taken to Yale hospital where he is undergoing tests.

This is apparently why the proceedings were postponed, not as I' had guessed, due to Steven Hayes' reported health issues of late: Hayes according to his lawyer, had a seizure like episode only days ago, the very same evening that the Jury heard graphic testimony concerning
the discovery of 11 year old Michaela Petit's body and her cause of death.

Thomas Ullmann told the court that Hayes had urinated on himself in his cell and had suffered seizure like symptoms" although Hayes did show up for Thursdays proceedings, his attorney
asked mid-day for an early wrap-up, due to continuing health issues with Hayes. The Prosecution did not object and Judge Blue granted the reprieve.

Now its the Judges turn, I hope he is alright.

Sep 19, 2010

Breaking News: Petit Trial postponed until Wednesday

This is the just breaking news regarding the Petit murder trial against Steven Hayes. It is safe to assume that the delay is somehow related to Steven Hayes's attorney's announcement on Thursday that Hayes had experienced " a seizure like occurrence "on Wednesday evening, which they only would say involved him urinating on himself- no elaborations were given beyond this and no corroborations from the infirmary in the correctional institution where Hayes is currently housed under 24 hour suicide watch which he has had in place since shortly after his arrest and arraignment for the sexual assaults arson and murders of Jennifer Hayley and Michaela Petit.

Despite the expensive 24 hour suicide watch and chronic surveillance of Mr Hayes he managed a suicide attempt that was very near successful several months before the start of his scheduled trial. It seems that Hayes had been stockpiling his daily anti-anxiety and anti-depressant med-along with whatever psycho-tropic medications he'd conned the Department of corrections into giving him for God knows what real or imagined psychiatric conditions he supposedly had.
In any event, even with all of this scrutiny from the Ct. Dept of Correction, Hayes managed to fake swallowing his multiple medications for weeks, and also managed to hide all of those pills somewhere in his cell or on his person, undetected.
As we all know Hayes then proceeded to take all of his pills in one grand gesture of 'get me outta facing the violence and horror that I inflicted upon three innocent human beings including an 11 year old child.

The attempt obviously failed, although Hayes was hospitalized for several days and placed in a medically induced coma, so there must have been a fair amount of drugs in his system. Although,as a addict of many years-(most of his adult life was spent using and pursuing the use of drugs) hayes likely knew what it would take to kill himself, and yet he failed. iT remains to be seen if this was because he really didnt want to die, just wanted an escape and or a visit to the medical ward which is decidely more pleasent than a small cell in solitary, or simply because he made a error in judgement regarding the amounts neccesary.

Once back in his prison cell Hayes now faced even more rigid surveillance including 24 hour lighting in his cell, a necessary precaution should he try another suicide attempt using the darkness of night for a cover. His lawyers complained liberally as was their custom-in fact bitterness has become somewhat of Ullmanns signature as much as Hayes's 'poor me victimizing himself is "- I'm sick- I'm depressed I'm anxious and I don't want to go to court I cant deal with it!"

With all of this being as it is, it is hard to discern fact from manipulative lies and exageration.
We certainly cannot rely on Mr. Hayes's attorneys to provide us with the honest answers: they've crossed the line that involves proffesional integrity and decency, and this not because they chose to defend this man, but rather the manner in which they have carried out this task; underhanded, vituperative personal attacks of victim William Petit, lone survivor of his clients night of sexual assault and murderous rampage . Strategically inserting statements about race, minority's and elitism-hoping it will garner hayes and them support from other places. Much like Johnny Cochran did with his jury nullification in the Simpson Trial. But even Cochran in his sleazy tactics, did not attack the victims of the crimes. At one point Ullmann went so far in his rabidness that he claimed to the court that a recent motion by the prosecution "makes me sick"-This was in reference to prosecutor Michael Dearingtons request for both men to be tried together-something that is certainly not unheard of in the criminal justice system. But when that was shown to be not practical nor fair for the defendants as the men were plotting antagonistic defenses naturally laying the worst of the crimes blame at each others feet, a suggestion of two simultaneous trials was put forth by the Prosecutor-This, only in an attempt to spare the victim William Petit from dragging out painful testimony as the sole witness to the crimes, as well as both familys of the victims who will be forced to sit through two very long, painful trial preparations and the proceedings themselves. Twice.

No sooner did this suggestion arise and the logistics of such a thing explored, when Ullmann began an ugly and highly personalized public crusade against Dr Petit and his family, citing that the court would never consider such a thing if the victims were black or Hispanic, and the fact that Bill Petit was Doctor in an "affluent town", (Cheshire is in fact mixed mostly middle class) well say no more..he claimed that the mere fact that it was being considered quote "made him sick" Wow, bit over the top even for you- dont you think Ullmann?

This is a tiresome and classless tact that this guy has wielded one too many times and by now, he's used it up-- It is reminiscent of the famous old 'blame the rape victim' technique, once widely utilized by sleazy defense attorneys all over this country, until our legal/civil rights activists caught up with it. Not that it's extinct in our courts today - far from it: It's just generally no longer used in such overt fashion - not so subtle innuendo suffices in plenty of cases, just enough to dishonor and discredit the victim in both rape and domestic/partner assault cases. Anytime a woman knows the man that assaulted her, creates an immediate change in how it is viewed by prosecutors police and even some judges.

The crimes and the accompanying charges are dropped down insofar as level of importance often due to the stubborn male notion that the crimes are automatically "suspect" because the victim and defendent knew eachother. Instead of believing the victim and her experience, as prosecutors typically would reflexively in any "stranger crime", due to their own innate prejudices, far too many states attorneys will immediately qualify serious assault crimes, as a " he said she said" scenario, with the attitude of "well the truth is probably somewhere in the middle of what the victim, and the assailant claim happened.

In situations involving the evolved- women- batterer, extending this undeserved "judicial meeting in the middle" is akin to giving credence to a sociopath rapist or mass murderer.
And indeed, the dropped and nolled assault charges, the plea bargained charges that result in serious felonies becoming nothing misdemeanors, involving no prison time, these are so often the court's history behind many a murdered woman killed by some guy she just broke up with, or a husband she just separated with or divorced - who swore that they'd decide when it was over - not her.

The Bottomline is this; the kind of tactic Attorney Ullmann has been using is vile- he is attempting to encourage and utilize an ugly diviseness which has no place in a criminal case about the murder and rape of a mother within earshot of her children and the kidnapping torture and sexual assaults of two girls, who were ultimately set on fire alive while tied to thier own beds.

Not that it is at all pertinent to this case, but as an aside the irony is that William Petit is in fact an extremely down to earth every-man kind of person who bears no resemblance to this " affluent Doctor with a life reeking of privilege." No boat no country clubs no showiness, lots of charity and community work in relatively modest house with simple furnishings.
The attacks on Petit and accusations of special treatment show a desperate and unethical Attorney, seemingly clutching at anything at all, no matter how immoral, unprofessional and worst of all promotional of the very same kind of hate- against a perceived privileged lifestyle that by its unnattainability deserves to be torn down and destroyed, by men like Mr Hayes, and apparently, Mr Ullmann as well.

Sep 16, 2010

Steven Hayes has apparent seizure- Temporarily halts Petit family murder Trial

Note; For new readers seeking information about the Petit family murders and/or the current trial "The State of Connecticut vs Steven Hayes", it is advisable to start with the archives section beginning in Sept 2007 . This is when I first began writing about these local crimes.

The Petit family murder trial was cut short Thursday afternoon due to medical issues that Steven Hayes was reportedly experiencing stemming from a seizure-like occurrence that he'd his prison cell Wednesday evening.

It is worth noting that Wednesday was the same day that some extremely graphic and upsetting testimony and evidence was shared in court in the case against Hayes. In an address to the jury, Judge Blue conveyed that this was likely the worst day of the Trial for them and implied that they could relax a bit knowing that the most difficult part of the trial was behind them.

The upsetting evidence consisted of testimony from the police officer that found the burnt bodies of eleven year old Michaela Petit, with her arms still tied to her bed, and her sister Hayley who having managed to break free of her binds, was heartbreakingly enough found just outside the bathroom, likely caught up in the smoke and flames once she broke free.

Forty eight year old Jennifer Hawke Petit was found in the living room, her body also charred, with rope remnants around her neck and feet.

The testimony was accompanied by photos of the victims bodies, which were made privy only to members of the jury, many of whom cried and showed obvious horrified emotion as the photos were passed to each member.

Judge blue wisely cut short the days proceedings after this testimony was complete, citing that the worst was over and giving what amounted to a compassionate pep talk to the jury. Blue has been in fact, notably attentive and empathetic with the Jury in this case.

It was later this same evening that Steven Hayes, on trial for these brutal murders and the sexual assault of Jennifer Hawke Petit, reportedly experienced a seizure like occurrence in his prison cell.

Hayes, who sat in the front row flanked by his Attorneys throughout the extremely graphic and upsetting testimony, showed no emotion whatsoever, as members of the Jury, as well as the Petit family were clearly shaken and some openly sobbing.. Even members of the press as well the general public who managed to get into the days crowded courtroom proceedings, were also visibly upset as the testimony was heard and the accompanying photos were distributed and the Jury's painful recoiling so overt.

Hayes did manage to attend the following day's court proceedings, after his "seizure" this having been announced to the press by his attorneys. Appearing somewhat tired he sat through half of the days testimony, which largely consisted of his attorney Thomas Ulmann's cross examination of the Police officers who were on the scene the morning of the murders.
The direction Ullmann appeared to be clearly going was to shift blame onto the Cheshire Police department for not entering the Petit home sooner. Be that as it may it remained rather questionable a tactic as whether or not the Cheshire Police responded "properly" to a vaguely reported hostage situation, as it clearly did not morally and more importantly legally alleviate any criminal culpability or liability from his client- A man who spent that morning extorting 15000,from Jennifer Hawke Petit instructing her that it would buy her family's safe release, only to turn on her the moment he returned to the house where her children lay tied to their beds and her husband half conscious tied to a pole in their basement.

After turning on her, Hayes immediately sexually assaulted Mrs Petit - within earshot of her two likely terrified and helpless daughters upstairs, one of whom was just sexually assaulted by his accomplice while Hayes was out procuring the "ransom money" from Mrs Petit at the bank. After sexually assaulting her. Hayes strangled Jennifer Petit to death, while his accomplice watched.

They then fetched some tanks of gasoline that Mr Hayes himself had erranded out to purchase earlier that same morning, (Showing full pre-meditation for the murders) and he and Komisarjevsky set about pouring the gasoline in a path leading from the girls rooms splashing onto them and their bedding where they each lay helplessly tied in their individual bedrooms.
Imagine the terror.

The men proceeded to light the gas trail and run as fast as they could to escape the exploding flames, they jumped into one of the Petit's family cars, toting Jennifer Petit's Beachbag filled with money and drove off\madly. Police reports say that the men were laughing as they ran out of the house with Steven Hayes wearing Hayley Petit's School hat atop his shaved head.

Hayes has lost about 40 lbs since the crimes and has let his hair grow in keeping it neatly cropped, no doubt at the urging of his defense attorneys, who have him looking like a veritable schoolboy in the courtroom. This certainly compared to his appearance at the time of the crimes when he was an imposing 180 lbs with a shaved head and a menacing stare seen here in the mugshot at the Cheshire Police dept shortly after the murders.

The men were quickly apprehended by The Cheshire Police as they ran into two police car roadblocks nearly striking a detective who was approaching the house in response to a scream he heard inside. The Cheshire PD has spent the last fifteen -twenty minutes setting up a perimeter around the Petit's home - precious minutes that in retrospect conceivably could have saved the lives of the girls. However this was standard protocol in hostage situations as per the 911 call from the Bank manager where Mrs Petit wthdrew the funds believing she was buying her familys freedom.

The time lapse issue has become the subject of much dissension and conflict ever since details of the actual Police timeline of the crimes emerged. One thing is for certain however, no matter the actions of the Cheshire Police dept. Steven J Hayes intended to and indeed carried out sexual assault and triple murder on the morning of July 23rd 2007.

Court proceedings were halted midday Thursday due to reported health issues sufferred by Mr Hayes, this as his attorneys conveyed to the court and media. The prosecution did not object. Court is to resume on Monday morniing.

Sep 15, 2010

Emotional Day Three in The Petit Murder Trial

The above title header is Linked to Photos of the Petit family crime scene and some evidenciary files. Some of the Photos are very upsetting. Chasing Justice is linking to the photos as they are essential to the death penalty case against Steven J Hayes, currently in its third day of proceedings. They also help others to understand the full pain and terror that these crimes rendered upon four innocent human beings - As awful as they are, they now become part of the voice for Jennifer, Hayely and Michaela Petit, may they Rest in Peace. Although he survived, Dr William Petit was severely injured in these crimes. He lives with symptoms from these injuries on a daily basis as well as the Post Trauma and perpetual grief caused by the brutal assaults and murders of his family.

Todays court proceedings in the State of Connecticut vs Steven Hayes were by far the most difficult and painful for the members of the Jury as well as the lone survivor and witness to the crimes, Dr William Petit Jr who lost his wife and children to the same murders that almost claimed his life.

Family members of both the Petit and Hawke families were also visbily shaken during portions of todays testimony, they have surrounded and flanked Dr Petit since the first day of the trial's three day proceedings. The reason for the unusual emotional display was a reaction to very detailed testimony from a member of the Cheshire Fire Deartment who discovered the partially burnt bodies of Michaela and Hayely Petit 11 and 17 respectively, as well as the body of Jennifer Hawke-Petit who had been strangled prior to the fire that consumed her daughters lives.

Even the seasoned fireman appeared to be extremely distraught as he testified about his discovery of 11 year old Michaela, who he found in the still smoldering bedroom with her arms still bound above her head to her bed; her feet were off the bed in a seeming attempt to somehow get away from the encroaching smoke and flames.

He stated that before he even approached the girl on the bed it was obvious that she was deceased. It was at this juncture in the days testimony that Dr William Petit could not help the tears that now flowed freely. Petit had thus far managed to remain composed and relatively calm throughout the first two days of the trial which included often upsetting testimony and information regarding the case, not to mention while taking the stand himself on the second day of the courts proceedings:

As the only surviving witness to these crimes William Petit was a key component of the state's case against Steven Hayes, who prosecutor dearington is seeking the death penalty for his participation in these senseless and particularly cruel kidnappings assaults and murders.

Two Police officers gave similarly detailed and heart-wrenching testimony regarding the discovery of and condition of 17 year old Hayley Petit who having been found outside an upstairs bathroom clearly had managed to at least get free from her bonds-this as we knew from prior testimony and the defendents confessions that Hayely was tied to her bed hand and foot, just as Michaela was throughout the home invasion and sexual assaults that preceded the murder of the girls. The two sisters tecnically died of smoke inhalation although hayley's body was reportedly burnt beyond recognition. This is the same as the lungs becoming severely burnt from the gasoline fueled fire, heat and toxic substance inhalation caused by carpeting plastics and other household items, which when burnt, produce extremely noxious smoke and gas, all of which likely contributed to the girls deaths.

It has been established that both girls were alive while Mr Hayes and possibly Mr Komisarjevsky poured gasoline liberally on and around them and their bed linens leading a trail of gasoline down the stairs straight to Mrs Petits strangled and carelessly discarded body which had been sexually assaulted. This was all done clearly in an effort to destroy both DNA and witness evidence linking Hayes to the sexual assault of Mrs Petit and Komisrjevsky to the sexual assault of Michaela Petit. You'll recall that Mrs Petits rape occurred literally moments after she returned from the bank with him, having withdrawn 15000 dollars in exchange for her families safe release.

Unfortunately, Mrs Petits generosity bought her no mercy with her family's captors. In fact the gasoline for the torching of the the house, the evidence and all four "witnesses" (it appears that in escaping the basement and rolling to his neighbors house Dr Petit foiled the captors plans in including him in the house fire victims.) had been purchased hours before her trip to the bank with Mr Hayes.

Both men with complete and full aforethought planned the execution of this entire family, beginning at least as early as 6 am, when Steven Hayes made a trip to a nearby Gas station to fill up 6 containers of gasoline containers, all stolen from the Petit family garage) Gas station tapes show him going about this task methodically and cell phone records from that morning, show phone calls made from hayes phone to komisrajevsky- who apparently had to give Hayes directions back to the Petit house as he got lost on his return trip.

The Jurors only were shown Photographs of each victim's body as they were discovered by firemen at the murder/arson scene shortly after the raging fire was extinguished enough to enter the home.

Audible crying and gasps were seen and heard and stricken faces were the norm with all members of the jury, some of whom were unable to stop reflexive reactions to the stark reality of these cruel and brutal murders of a child and a teenager by fire. There is no way to prepare oneself for that.

After the testimony and photos,with some closing words of support and encouragement aimed at the jury, judge blue ended the days proceedings prematurely making certain to send the jury home with a pep talk of sorts,
telling them that they had now been through the most difficult part of the trial and he said that it would be okay for the jurors to" hug eachother" for support. Court was thus adjourned for the day.

Sep 14, 2010

Juror dismissed from Petit trial after criticizing prosecution- The New Haven Register - Serving New Haven, Connecticut

There is a bit more to this Juror being excused, but this article gives the best coverage thus far found on the web.
I was in court for toe days proceedings and due to some technical difficulties, I am in the process of a re-write of a Post covering the events. Please check back shortly for a compilation of the trial happenings thus far, including links to all exhibits, (the ones that today's excused juror, Mr Lively found so confusing) as they are presented.

Dr. William Petit Takes the Stand in his families murder trial- No cross

Dr William Petit took the stand today in the second full day of court proceedings in "The state of Connecticut vs Steven Hayes" - Hayes is one of two men accused of murdering and sexually assaulting Dr Petit's wife Jennifer Hawke Petit and murdering thier two children Hayley and Michaela.

Petit was calm and composed and spoke with a soft voice throughout his testimony, although an underlying pain and angst was palpable.

In an awful twist of fate, the witness chair where Dr Petit was trequired to sit was located almost directly across from the defense seat row, with a clear view of Defendent Steven Hayes- a man whose attorney has admitted raped and murdered Petits wife, within his opening statements made yesterday.
" We will concede much... but not all....." This, Thomas Ullman state public defender for Hayes provocatively declared at the end of his relatively short opening statement.
An aside; Both opening statements were unusually short by most capital case standards. In this case, Hayes' attorneys are in an unusually bad position where their client was literally caught at the scene by Police and has an atagonistic co-defendent who is much more articulate and much more mainipula doing all he can to shift the capital murder cuplapility onto hayes-in order for him to excape the death penalty, his co defendent komisrjevsky's, only hope is to say yes I was there but hayes killed everyone not me"

On top of these already insurmountable hurdles, hayes's attorney ullmann and culligan had a client that three quateres through his pre-trial incaceration period decided that he wanted to change his original plea of not guilty at the arrignment to guilty in a change of heart hed apparntly had whilst thinking about his misdeeds and what likel;y awaited him.

Needless to say our Connecticut courts were not going to allow a guilty man to take accountability for his heinous acts of brutality and barbarism -no our system isn't designed for this sort of thing; it even has a built in mechanism whereby a defendant in a capital murder case cannot plead guilty at that early of a juncture in his/her trial! As such Hayes surprise plea change to guilty which he did in court in front of the judge was immediately overridden by his attorneys who cited that they were prepared to take any measures to prevent their client from committing state assisted suicide" as he put it so melodramatically. Is that what they're calling trying to take responsibility accountability for your criminal actions these days?

Much of William Petit's testimony was DISTURBING and grim with corresponding state evidence shown to the jury on a large projection screen.
The jury and the courtroom in attendence were shown large screen projephotos of PETIT with his head wounds and surrounded by a great deal of blood about the head area. These weree wounds that Petit sustained during the attacks and photos of his basement pole where he was tied unconscious for the most part tied hand and feet with plastic .

A lunch recess was called after Dr Petits testimoney concluded and the trial resumed an hour later as Judge Blue had ordered.

After lunch break ended and trial resumed a police officer who was one of the first to arrive at the scene , was due to give up testimony's DUE TO GIVE HIS TESTIMONY. instead the somewhat eccentric juror gave a 45 minute epilogue about the disorganization of the prosecutions evidence which he claimed were being given to the jury with nary an explanation not any particular organization, thus leading the jury to become very confused and unsure of what they were supposed to be doing with said evidence.

Mr Lively the juror in question only served to derail the proceedings and frustrated Thomas Ullmann lead attorney for the defense ,as this particular juror had been the defense sides first juror chosen within the trials very time consuming voire dire practice. Thus he was someone they thought would ve been maleable, he claimed no prioor knowledge of the case which he mentioned agaib

Sep 13, 2010

Long Awaited Petit Family Murder Trial Begins

"The State of Connecticut vs Steven Hayes" officially began at 10:00 am this morning at Superior Court in New Haven Connecticut.
Hayes is the older of two men that were caught fleeing the Petit Murder scene, driving the Petit family car and ultimately smashing through two police cars, a road block and nearly hitting a police detective before being apprehended by the Cheshire Police department.

The police were tipped off to a "hostage situation" via a 911 call from a branch manager at a local Bank of America where Jennifer Petit had apparantly withdrawn 15,000 while quietly conveying to the teller that the money was to pay two men who were holding her family hostage. She indicated that her family would not be hurt if the Police were not called. Unfortunately this was not the case: shortly after she arrived home, having given Mr Hayes 5000 dollars more than they had even asked for, hayes proceeded to rape Mrs Petit and then brutally strangled her to death.

Her cries roused the half conscious Bill Petit who managed to broke free of his hand binds and hopped up the basement bilco steps legs still bound crying out his neighbors name for help.

By this point The men poured gasoline on Hawke Petits body and led a trail of gas upstairs to both girls bedrooms where they lay helplessly tied to their beds, the gas was poured on and around them while at leasy one of the girls screamed. Police believe that Michaela had been sexually assaulted by Komisrajevsky while Hayes was at the bank with Mrs Petit. The men ran downstairs and lit the gasoline trail and hopping into one of the Petits cars speeding off to thier imagined getaway. Hayes wore Hayley Petits Miss Porters school hat atop his head as he ran from the burning Petit house. Later the girls childhood piggybanks would be found among the mens "take."

Multiple charges, including Murder sexual assault, Arson, kidnapping and aggravated assault were brought against both men. The state prosecutor Michael Dearington soon added capital murder charges as more details of the crimes emerged. He announced his intention to seek the death penalty against both men, this being only the second time he has done so in his entire 20 plus year career as a lead state prosecutor.

The aggravated assault charge stemmed from the brutal beating of lone survivor Dr William Petit Jr, who had been struck at least a dozen times in the head with a baseball bat causing severe blood loss, traumatic Brain injury inner ear damage and shock. In and out of consciousness throughout the duration of the 6 1/2 hour ordeal, Petit was bound feet and hands to a metal pole in his basement where he could have easily died.

He was the first to be attacked in the invasion, most likely in order to eliminate him as a threat so that the men could proceed unhindered in their real motivation for the entire nights crime: the sexual assaults of Jennifer Hawke Petit and her eleven year old daughter, Michaela. Both were spotted earlier in the day at a local supermarket parking lot then followed back to thier home by one of the men who admitted liking "the younger Petit girls looks."

In todays opening statements Hayes attorney Thomas Ullmann more or less implied that the sexual assaults were almost incidental to the robbery, and that the murders were unplanned and the result of a robbery gone too far, although key facts in the case as well as the mens own testimony to police, clearly show otherwise.

Jennifer Petit and her daughter were Blonde, vibrant and attractive As such, they easily stood out in a crowd especially to the appraising eyes of a predator.
And despite Michaela Petits young age, hayes co- defendant Joshua komisarjevsky had a history of attraction to very young girls, making him by definition a pedophile albeit at a very young age.

His daughter Jayda was in fact conceived by his then 15 year old girlfriend - komisarjevsky was 25 at that time. His girlfriend at the time of the Petit rapes and murders was 17 : they had been involved for over a year and komisarjevsky 27 when he was arrested in 2007.

Steven Hayes was 44 at the
time of the Petit assaults and murders. The unlikely pair met at a Hartford halfway house where they were both living out the pre-release portions of independently accrued prison sentences for a litany of felony convictions, the latest gaggle of which represented merely a fraction of either men's total criminal conviction records, which exceeded 50 felony convictions between them.

Note; The preceding link at the Title header is taken from todays NY Times online it contains decent coverage of some of the details of todays proceedings. The following links are also worth a read.
Opening statements for both sides were heard first and these are important as they typically set the tone for the tact or direction that the defense and prosecution intends to pursue within the trial.

Television cameras have been banned in the courtroom as well as any taping devices. A modest amount of seats (20) are reserved for members of the press and are given on a first come - first serve basis. The public was/is allowed to attend the trial, but again limited seating within the courtroom insists upon a first come first serve basis with priority given to legal professionals, family members of the victims and members of the press. Judge Blue decided to move the proceedings to courtoom B when it became apparent that the original courtroom reserved would not accomodate the amount of people who had turned out to attend the first day of the trial.

A gag order remains on the case that applies to the attorneys involved including the prosecution, law enforcement and the defendants themselves. although it should be mentioned that Joshua komsarjevsky blatantly broke the Gag order by corresponding and meeting with a true crime writer in prison and relating details about the crimes - for the purposes of publishing a book about the crimes published pre trial which seemed extremely self serving in a" blame it on the other guy" fashion.

Judge Blue, the judge currently presiding over the trial recently ruled that the Gag order will continue to be enforced, this as it has been an ongoing issue of appeal with both the press specifically the Hartford Courant as well as Hayes' defense attorney Thomas Ullmann who alternately argued for the gag order as it applied to the Courant and other newspapers and against it, as it pertained to his complaint that the surviving victim could talk to the press and he couldn't.
The links below are to State exhibits entered in evidence in today's proceedings. There is also a link to todays complete State exhibit list as well for interested readers.

Link to Photo exhibits by the state

Below find link to complete State evidenciary list for September 13th 2010

Note: Please continue to check back for further coverage of this trial as it occurs in Real-time. Chasing Justice will be covering The State of Connecticut vs Steven Hayes in its entirety including posting of any and all evidenciary files as they become available.

Sep 8, 2010

Gag Order Remains In Home Invasion Trial

Here is another article regarding the Judges latest ruling that the Gag order will remain in the Petit murder trial for co-defendant Steven Hayes. Hayes is the man accused of raping and strangling to death, Jennifer Hawke-Petit and pouring gasoline on and around her daughters Michaela and Hayley, who were tied to their beds still alive, prior to lighting them ablaze, presumably in an effort to destroy evidence of the sexual assaults that both men had committed. See previous Posts re the gag order and its relevance in the case.

The trial for Steven Hayes is scheduled to begin Monday September 13 at New Haven Superior court: He is the first of two men involved in these crimes to be tried. The other "defendant" Joshua Komisarjevsky is not scheduled to be tried until sometime after the conclusion of Hayes trial.

Sometime after the pre-trial proceedings were about to begin, the prosecutor handling the Petit murder case officially requested that both defendents be tried together for the sake of the surviving victim and the victims family members, or at least tried simultaneously in one courthouse in an effort to spare the families and the surviving victim, the pain of dragging out the entire experience and hearing explicit testimony about the horrors their loved ones endured during the attacks and murders a second time years after they begin to heal from first the crimes themselves and then the trial.

There was also the issue of time; two years had already passed at that particular juncture--two years and nothing of any substance had transpired within the court in regards to these heinous sexual assaults and murders of Jennifer Hayley and Michaela Petit. Familiar with Connecticut's unusually time consuming voir dire process (IE jury selection laws which vary greatly from state to state and in Connecticut are ridiculously time consuming) prosecutor Michael Dearington was aware that trial selection alone for just one jury trial could take 6 months easily. With the trials occurring consecutively this extended the "sentence" for the Petit and Hawke family members by at least an additional two years.

Attorneys for both men were against either prospect, a joint trial because the two defense teams were already adversarial, predictably casting the blame for the worst of the crimes on each others client-The second request for simultaneous trials was attacked venomously by Thomas Ullmann State public defender for Hayes, who at one point said that the fact that this idea was even being proposed or looked into by the courts to see if it was viable (the two simultaneous trials would need adequate court accommodations) quote "made him "sick"

He claimed that he had never seen this done in any other case where two defendants were involved in carrying out one set of crimes and he once again re-injected his opinion that the victims and surviving victim were getting "special consideration" due to the fact that they were white and from an upper middle class background, this a recurring theme of his used with the media and the judge and thereby the potential jury pool-from the start of this capital murder case.

Shortly after Ullmanns tirades to court and the media, the request for simultaneous trials was dropped by prosecutor, likely due to the fact that neither he nor Dr Petit wanted to give either defense an excuse for declaring a mistrial at a later date citing that simultaneous trials had robbed one or both of them of something or other. Not to mention the whole thing was just becoming very very ugly thanks to Mr Ullmanns attacks on the victims and his general lack of professionalism. This is a strategy that Attorney Ullmann has adapted time and time again and indeed, he would seem to be relying on, so certain he seems of its effects.

Clearly the Petit's and the Hawke families are a very private and dignified people and Dr Petit is no exception to this familial trait. I believe that Thomas Ullmann is aware that Bill Petit's likely reaction to his accusations of getting special treatment from the courts and being a media - glommer, ( trying to sway the jury through the lens of the TV cameras -Ullmanns most recent ludicrous accusation ) will likely have the effect he desires; It will muzzle Dr Petit and likely the rest of his family. They will take the high road and pull even further away from the lights of the TV cameras and the press, if only to disprove the awful accusation of being media hounds, the very idea of which they surely find abhorrent and could not be farther from the truth in the first place..

Once again I must rely on a somewhat banal though appropos question; how does Attorney Ullmann sleep at night?