Nov 29, 2010

Man Previously Convicted Of Murder Arrested In Fatal Shooting

Yet more violent crime resulting from Connecticut's sentencing practices for repeat offenders.. If  I was prone to making puns, I would say that our State's sentencing practices are criminal.

This murderer, or I should say multiple murderer, as it would now appear, was convicted in 1993 for murdering another man and yet here he was clearly out of prison, free to kill yet another person. I'd be interested to know exactly how long Perez had been out before being arrested for this murder and what other crimes, if any, he has committed in the interim.

And just an aside here; why wasn't taking someones life worth at least twenty years in prison in 1993?

Since there was no mention of Perez being on Parole when he arrested for this recent murder, it has probably been a number of years since he's been out.  I can predict with pretty much certainly that the 93 murder case was plea bargained, as plea deals have been the preferred adjudication method for violent crime in Bridgeport Ga2 Court for quite some time. If there was a deal,t this means is that Perez likely  received a much lower sentence than what he would have, should have, received for any murder conviction.

By the very nature of the "deal," charges are dropped down a level or two, and in the case of multiple charges, other charges are dropped entirely, never to be seen again on that criminals official record.
The results of this can be dangerous; inappropriate lesser sentences, lowered criminal charges leading to misleading and inaccurate criminal records, records that fail to illustrate the criminal's true potential for future violence..

As well the plea deal model for serious crime has long wreaked havoc with our Parole Board and their infamously less than- scientific-parole determinations. We've all heard about the disastrous affects of the ill advised early release parole of Joshua Komisarjevsky, co-accomplice believed to be the mastermind of the crimes against Michaela, Hayley and Jennifer Petit. But be assured that the same parole issues have been behind many other crimes committed by inappropriately paroled offenders.

In the Petit case, several  errors within our justice system combined to create a perfect storm of sorts for one of the most brutal homicides that this state has ever seen. A computer based centralized criminal records system was approved in 2008 by the Connecticut Legislature in the wake of gaggle of state murders, all committed by repeat offenders released on early Parole.The system has yet to be implemented,  although the funding for it was supposed to be made available this year.

Plea Deals represent approximately 96% of  Connecticut's criminal case resolutions, They are not made for the reasons that one might think, such as the State having a "weak case,"  as depicted in shows like  Law and Order. No, what we've got in too many of our state's courthouses is rote plea bargaining, bbusiness as usual. The plea deals helps speed things up, move along the daily dockets, and most of all, avoid the need to go to trial.  After all, trials are time-consuming, especially in Connecticut, where our individual voire-dire practice has long been a  prohibitive factor in taking cases to trial. 

It has actually gotten to the point where the ownice is put upon the victim, if he or she must have justice, they are told to pursue such in civil court.

Needless to say, few victims of violent crime have the resources- or the wherewithal, in a post traumatic haze, to pursue a civil suit for the Justice that they did not receive in criminal court.. Not to mention reparations, where applicable. Often the offender has little to nothing to sue, and few attorneys are interested in obtaining an empty civil judgement for the notion of Justice or closure for a victim.

After an average of 9-12 months of fruitless continuances, "hearings" whereupon the perps attorney will ask the Judge for another 4-6 weeks to "review" said case, ie simply drag it out, increasing their billed court time in the process, the deal is officially made between prosecutor and attorney, behind closed doors.
The victim is typically left with his or her case watered down to some obsolete charge(s) that don't begin to resemble the crimes that were committed against them.

Nov 27, 2010

Judge Denies Defense Motion For A New Trial In Hayes Case

This morning, the Friday after Thanksgiving day, Judge Blue officially responded to a motion made earlier this week by the Hayes defense team, a motion that in effect asked for a new trial for Hayes,a  man who was found guilty over a month ago of the murders of Jennifer, Michaela and Hayley Petit, and a myriad of other charges related to those capital crimes. Just three weeks ago, Hayes officially received his death penalty sentence, this after an arduous four days of deliberations by the clearly-conscientious Jury.

After pouring over the extremely detailed response by Judge Blue to the rather lengthy motion by the Hayes Defense team) a motion that I also read in its entirety and found akin to a desperate fishing expedition using a giant net with holes) I became even more impressed with Judge Blue, His finely detailed and methodical response to each claim in the Defense's motion, a motion that had at it's core the notion that various happenings and circumstances within the trial itself and the jury's mode of arriving at its sentence, caused an unfair and prejudicial verdict, and retrospectively, (being the key word here)--
Steven Hayes sentence as well,

Point by salient point, Judge Blue made veritable mince-meat out of of each and every one of the Defenses examples of supposed improprieties which they claimed caused their client to be unable to receive a fair trial, both inside and outside of the courtroom. Ffastidiously and patiently Blue responded to the defense claims as if they were valid, While Judge illustrated his signature common sense in his response to this motion,  I got to see another side of him in reading his actual brief; the savvy and methodical lawyer that clearly still resides within.,0,4556986.htmlpage/

Nov 25, 2010

Nov 24, 2010

Judge denies Hayes acquittal on assaultt on William Petit/ No answer on request for a new New Trial

Good coverage of the follow-up court-side happenings regarding the recent ridiculous defense motions in the Hayes case 

Thank God there was an intelligent Judge presiding over this case, hearing these nonsensical fluff motions. Judge Blue took it all in stride, and handled it with his usual Judicial commonsense and integrity.

Nov 21, 2010

Following denial of delay request, Hayes' attorneys seek new trial

"Sounds like there's no there, there", said Judge Blue regarding the post-verdict motions made by the hayes defense team this week, the first a request to delay sentencing and the second a motion for a new trial.

Mr. Dearington might not have read the second defense motion at the time of this article, but I did and I can assure  that it is more of the same nonsense;: A waste of taxpayer money being spent up by an overly tenacious  public defender with a bad case of sour grapes.It almost appears that Attorney Ulmann shares the same kind of hatred of  perceived affluence that helped fuel his client, and accomplice, to commit and escalate these crimes as they did.. All I know is that we have heard way too much of Ullmann's by now, very tired " special treatment" accusations aimed at the victims of this case, accusations that began shortly after he was "compelled" to take on Steven Hayes as a client.

In fact, these same cries of classism and  racism (I know, of all things) were at the core of a overly personalized,  very unprofessional  tirade made by Ullmann over a year ago in response to prosecutor Dearington's request for two simultaneous trials for The Petit murder co-accomplices, Steven Hayes and  Joshua Komsisarjevsky..

These very same crimes a year later Mr Ulmann  would assurre the Hayes jury,  caused he and his co-counsel " a terrible sadness." On this particular occasion however, Ulmann was bitterly claiming that" it makes me sick"   ie. that the courts were EVEN cconsidering, ( for a seeming nano-second ) the practical viability of trying both men simultaneously.
It "made Mr Ullmann sick. "

Let me give yall a bit of background here; The entire prospect of trying the two defendants in these murders  was being considered for several good reasons; one, in an effort to give some kind of more reasonable timetable for the criminal cases for both the families and sole survivor and witness,William Petit, Petit, by that point, had been waiting over two years with little to no actual movement in the cases. No date for the first Jury selection had been set.

Secondly the state wished to spare the families and William Petit from re-living the horrors of these crimes in two seperate trials, trials likely carried out over years, This would keep he and his family in an emotional stasis, unable to heal from his trauma and grief.due As well as the practical need to retain as much information/memory about the night of the murfers in order to be the best possible witness for the State.
 Petit was in the unusual psosition of being a victim, a witness and a greiving family member.

Seeing as both men had openly admitted that they'd planned and carried out the crimes together, it was undisputed that the crimes were a joint venture, This certainly could have made for an argument that two accomplices should be tried together,and many people in the state assumed that they would. It certainly wouldnt be the first time that this was done., But as criminals are want to do, the two men were trying to pin the very worst of the crimes on each other, ( you know the parts that were eligible for the death peanlty)and this meant adversarial defenses,and any notion of one trial was quickly dropped for that reason.

However, the idea of trying the two men at the same time, in different courtrooms, in order to save adjudication time, spare the family and survivor william Petitt, the considerable emotional toll that two trials spread out over years would bring, this seemed a fair consideration. Although there were some very real practical obstacles to overcome such as Cout size to accomodate the anticupated media and attendees.

No sooner was the State investigating these issues than the objections from Ullmann and his team went from grumbling to a loud roar. Hence,  the" makes me sick " comment used to punctuate a by now familiar refrain. "If these victims were black or minority...the defendents would already have gotten life in prsion in a deal, its only because the father is a doctor and  blah blah blah blah blah"

Needless to say, the idea of simultaneous trials was dropped prosecution pulled the plug rescinded the request,most  likely concerned that it could later be used as fodder for a motion formistrial especially with Ullmann shouting from the rooftops "special treatment!!!!

Hence, the " it makes me sick comment" from Ullmann who used it to punctuate an ugly, and by now familiar, refrain;" if these victims were black or minority my client would already be serving life,via a deal etc....etc

This is absolute crap: Case in point, the tragic murders of Karen and B.J Clarke, both African Americans, for whom state vigorously pursued death sentences for; the shooter, the man who ordered the killing, as well as the person driving the get away car! The murders also resulted in new state legislation for better protection for state witnesses, it is named The " BJ and Karen Clarke law"'

This kind of hate- mongering and attempts to make racial issues where none exist, is truly grotesque.
 I've  wondered if  Thomas Ullmann some kind of issues of his own with what he considers "class," money, or  "affluence"Not that the Petits were,or are  exactly the picture of affluence, power or privilege" as he has tried so tirelessly to project; They lived  a modest lifestyle, in a town that is decidedly middle class  lived simply church and civic minded they put on no airs.
But perhaps this persistant notion of the haves and the have nots is the only way that Ullmann can transform killers, rapists and other predators into pitiful underdogs.

.Then again, maybe it's all hubris and theatrics. .

All I know is that this man's hatefulness's of a victim of his clients crimes, a man who was beaten on the head to within an inch of his life in the middle of the night as he slept, while his client stood guard, led him bloodied and half consicous to a pole in his basement, tied him up, taking time to grab his bloody wallet, this is the ultimate in irony.

William Petit's daughters as we know, were doused in gasoline by Mr. Ullmanns client, along with the body of their mother, whom Steven Hayes admits to strangling, and raping while the girls, tied to their beds were forced to listen to the struggle that ended in silence. Ulmmanns client helped set the girls on fire, running out of the burning house, laughing, with Hayley Petit's school hat on top of his head.

And now...?
Within a recent post -verdict motion, Attorney Ullmann and Co..complained among other things, that the victim's families were given two whole rows to sit in at the trial.. They also strongly resented and formally objected to, the victims families being given a room in the courthouse to gather,where they might be able to digest painful testimony and evidence which seemed incessent at times. pray ad cry  unmolested..A small space away from the  eyes of the media,who had gathered due to no fault of their own.

Clearly a private people, it was  obvious to anyone watching, that this family would have preferred not to have to deal with any of the fan-fare that accompanied this trial. But unlike Mr Ullmann, they managed to remain humble and gracious throughout the ordeal, (and it was a horrible ordeal) despite the substantial pain and daily indignities that the process visited upon them.

Nov 20, 2010

"Ode to a Psychopath" by Criminal Profiler Pat Brown

I stumbled across this article by Pat Brown on the web today, it captures quite well the personality features of a psychopath, someone with a personality disorder that often leads to criminal behavior.
Some of the most notorious mass murderers in this country were in fact diagnosed as sociopaths; Ted Bundy, Charles Manson, Richard Ramirez, John Gacy, to name a few.

It is the sociopaths complete lack of conscience that leads him/her to become natural killers of sorts. If one is unencumbered by the ordinary human sense of "right vs wrong", then all bets are off, no rules apply -  To the Sociopath, they are"special",  and they often believe that their victims deserved what they did to them, for either being "stupid" enough to become  a victim, or "weak", or as in the case of high risk victims, homeless or prostitutes etc, sociopaths will often claim that they "were doing the world a favor" "cleaning up the garbage"  These exact words and or sentiment  have actually been used by many a serial rapist killer, including Michael Ross a murderer in Connecticut who murdered mostly prostitutes although in the end he started killing little girls and anyone he could get his hands on.

By using the example of several books written by  "Hurricane Carter", a famous boxer in the 60's imprisoned for murder in Chicago, profiler Pat Brown shows us how Carter, like many sociopaths, can give themselves away via their own words, attitudes and character traits, traits that can readily show themselves even within the writings of these individuals.As Sociopaths are almost always highly  intelligent and articulate, writing is often a natural extension of this and in prison many do so prolifically, oftentimes an exercise in narcissism; Seeing their words printed out, being read, pored over by others, this gives them an ego rush.

Where all of this becomes important is when it relates to intervention, hopefully before the sociopath escalates their crimes to murder. But at the very leas, identifying the markers for this particular dangerous brand of criminal, will only assist the courts, probation/ parole officers, and all social service employees, to identify and  intervene, using whatever means are at their disposal to ensure that this criminal does not get an easy path out of the system -  to harm others, to predate, to escalate their crimes.

Nov 18, 2010

Attorneys Cite 'Errors' In Requesting New Trial Or Life In Prison For Steven Hayes

Like we didn't see this nonsense coming. Still ironic though - just a little over a week ago, the lead counsel for the Hayes defense team spoke to members of the MEDIA- he claimed rather sardonically, that his client was "thrilled" that he was found guilty in his sexual assault/murder trial.

What some folks forget is that at one point in the pre-trial "process" Steven Hayes actually tried to change his plea to guilty, a decision that would have made the entire ensuing trial -and the so called "media frenzy" that accompanied it, unneccesary. That media frenzy is now being cited by ullmann and culligen as a main ingredient in their latest recipe for a request for delay in sentencing, and indeed petition against the sentence itself.  Months back when both Thomas Ullmann and our state's judicial system" would not allow Mr Hayes to stand up and take accountability for the murders, rape, arson that he wanted to admit to committing at that point.

Even if our justice system would have allowed a guilty plea from Hayes at that particular juncture, his bull-dog lawyers were ready in typical pugnacious form, threatening to do whatever necessary, whatever - even disclosing attorney/client privileged information, in order to "save their client from quote performing "state assisted suicide", A phrase by the way, that has been made so many times by Mr Ullmann, that it's become a meaningless refrain. This particular public defender has no discernment, he fights tooth and nail for any and every child murderer, rapist, every sadistic predator whose "case" finds it's way to his desk, and even some that dont; These are the cases that ulmann simply  feels "compelled to take on. If I'm not wrong,  I believe the Steven Hayes" case" was just such a case"  Incidently, lest we forget, each "case" as they are so easily refferred to, has a victim or victims at its core; their; blood, pain, fear, torment and - death. embodies that "case"

Nov 16, 2010

Conn.Judicial branch offers Hayes jurors Post-trauma assistance

I am so relieved to see that Connecticut's Judicial system has extended trauma counseling to the jurors in the Hayes case. The evidence and testimony in these crimes was extremely sad and traumatic and this kind of trauma is life changing. Many people do not realize that people can suffer Post Traumatic Stress syndrome through hearing about, or seeing, images of violence, such as jury members who preside over protracted violent crime cases.

To a degree, many members of the community of Cheshire and the surrounding environs, experienced considerable Post Trauma through learning about the crimes especially during the time period just after the murders of Jennifer, Hayley and Michaela Petit.
In hearing about the details of the crimes, and being in close proximity to where they happened, this alone can lead to a Post traumatic Stress disorder. That risk is proportionately greater for those who knew the victims personally; family members, neighbors, friends and schoolmates.

I daresay that the Petit family crimes have had farther reaching effects than merely the geographic of the Cheshire/Plainville Region. As a Connecticut resident who has blogged extensively about these crimes, I've received emails from people all over the country, and even a few beyond, in Canada, Ireland and England. The majority of letters came at a time when details about the crimes were being revealed in the media. Details like the fact that the Cheshire Police dept were at the scene, setting up perimeters, when the murders actually occurred, bringing a wave of confounded frustration and in some cases, considerable anger. Then There was the fact that Mrs Petit had been taken out of the house at one point by one of the killers, and indeed, she could have easily chanced it and run, but didn't, naively believing the men's claims that they would leave her home and her family alone, once they received the money.

It seemed that with each new detail learned, our level of grief grew as a clearer more accurate picture emerged of the crimes, and with it the various missed opportunities to save this family. There was a lot of " if only's" going on in the minds and hearts of many of us who had became privy to these terrible crimes. By and large, men seemed to respond with more anger and frustration as opposed to women, who tended to have a pervasive sense of sadness grief and frustration as well, at the various alternate endings that could have happened. the if onlys...

This working and reworking of the details of these crimes, imagining different, happier endings, is a natural stage in the grief process, and is akin to something called"bargaining" Although the process itself is usually experienced by close family members or those directly involved with the outcome of the crimes, ie members of the Police on the scene, the bank employees etc, this particular set of crimes transcended these normal parameters. Because of both the randomness of the crimes, thus the victims and the vulnerability that this in turn caused all of us who lived lives that anywhere resembled he Petit's, lives that centered around family, community and yes, personal and civic responsibility- If something this terrible could happen to a family who was the personification of innocence responsibility charitableness--what then of us?

Nov 14, 2010

Smart: Happy end to a sad saga

The amazing Elizabeth Smart story: An unlikely and miraculous happy ending to a tragic longstanding kidnapping/ pedophile abuse case. This article explains how that happy ending very nearly didn't happen.

This young woman is pillar od courage and grace who refuses to be swallowed up by the tragic misfortunes that befell her.

The Petit murders: we must hate evil - On Faith at

A very good commentary piece about the Petit murders written by a Rabbi Boteach in today's Washington Post. Equally interesting was the breadth of opinions found within the comments section, including the one below written by "sensible 2001"

I daresay it closely mirrors my own rather strong sentiments on this subject - And believe me, I have learned from experience, the hard way, that forgiving evil is not advisable, and will be used to propagate more evil, by those who would commit evil against us.

That whole forgive and reach out to understand those who would harm us idea, borne of a strong belief in Christianity, very nearly got me killed, for when dealing with the Sociopath, this kind of thinking and behaving is seen as a major weakness, and something to be taken full advantage of.

Posted by: sensible2001 November"

"I could not agree more with Rabbi Boteach. Evil men (and women) laugh at those who would 'forgive' them for the evil they perpetrate. Show these animals mercy and forgiveness and they will take full advantage. If the good and the just do not defend themselves, our country will descend into chaos (as have many countries throughout the world). In our efforts to be civilized we have become too soft on those who commit heinous acts of violence against us.

Nov 13, 2010

A View from Here: In heart-wrenching Smart trial, Tribune gives public the words the jury hears | The Salt Lake Tribune

Excerpted from the Tribune, a good piece on the Elizabeth Smart case.

We knew this already. Yet the depth of her strength continues to amaze us.

Last week Elizabeth Smart took the stand to testify, finally, against Brian David Mitchell. It became one of those rare stories, its importance to the community transcending all others.

As Smart recounted her horrific experience, The Tribune brought readers extensive coverage both online and in print. News editors Scott Sherman and Elizabeth Neff are leading our team of journalists covering the trial, which enters its second week on Monday.

Each medium presents a different challenge for the team.

In print, we work to provide readers a succinct report of what took place the day before, as well as a layer of analysis of what happened, and how it will affect the trial overall.

For example, when the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals halted the trial just minutes after it opened to consider whether the jury was properly seated, The Tribune — relying on our reporters’ experience and the expertise of our sources — reported the next day that the delay was likely short-lived. The trial resumed on Monday.

Online, our goals are to provide nearly instantaneous reporting as well as a level of depth that could never fit within the confines of a newspaper. Online we are publishing word-for-word transcripts of the testimony.

“Knowing that there would be such intense interest that people would hang on every word, we came up with the idea of giving our readers every word,” Sherman said. “We want to give the public access to the court.”

Veteran courts reporter Steve Hunt is taking the lead on our coverage in print. Reporters Sheena McFarland, Aaron Falk, Pam Manson and Cimaron Neugebauer have been teaming to provide our coverage online. Because journalists are not allowed to transmit from the courthouse, team members have been alternately typing segments of testimony, then exiting the courthouse before sending it back to our newsroom from the street. Sherman and Neff review it before it is published.

Such is the community’s interest in this case, our first-day coverage on received more than 1.2 million page views — a record that surpassed our coverage of the Trolley Square tragedy in 2007.

Sherman explains.

“This is one of those cases where everybody wants to be on the jury. And it’s one thing to read a reporter’s account of what happened, and make a judgment, it’s another for them to read the transcript and to find out what the jury heard to help them decide how they would respond if they were in their shoes.

“The jury is the public and we’re giving the public what the jury hears. I think this is one of those rare cases where the public wants that level of detail.”

So, if you’ve read our coverage online, does it make sense to still read the traditional report that follows? Absolutely, says Neff, who believes our print coverage has distinguished itself.

“[Hunt’s coverage] provides a good analysis of how the Smarts’ testimony fits into the prosecutors’ larger trial strategy,” she said.

As the trial continues, that is particularly important. Our story today, for example, examines how the burden of proof for the insanity defense, as it is being used in this trial, lies with the defense, not with the prosecution. In a sense, therefore, the usual roles of prosecution and defense are reversed, with much of the prosecution’s most compelling argument expected to come when it rebuts the defense.

As the editors who oversee our coverage of many heart-wrenching trials and other stories involving the justice system, Neff and Sherman often are on the front lines of fulfilling our obligation as your connection to these proceedings.

“This isn’t easy for us to do. To listen to it, to document it, to read it. It’s not an easy job,” Sherman said.

“We feel strongly we have to show people what’s going on. … [This case] feels like it’s so important we have to be as big a watchdog as possible. ... Whatever the outcome of this case, [the public will be able to] say with certainty whether they agree or disagree based on what the jury heard.”

In coming days, experts will testify. The jury will weigh legal arguments. What will not change is the character that was revealed by Elizabeth Smart’s testimony.

“What amazes me is how strong Elizabeth Smart was as a 14-year-old girl,” Neff said.

“She saved her own life. She did, she really did.”

Jury selected in DiMeo murder trial

Finally, a Jury has been selected for the trial of the man accused of murdering Tim and Kim Donnelly, in their Fairfield Jewelry store, in the summer of 2005. Chris DiMeo is accused of killing Tim and Kim Donnelly during that robbery - his ex-girlfriend already has pleaded guilty in a plea bargain.

The Jury selection for DiMeo began in early September, but due to Connecticut's time-consuming voire dire process, (another aspect of our State's judicial system in desperate need of reform) it has taken the usually obscene amount of time to complete a simple Jury selection process.

These murders happened in 2005 -  DiMeo's trial is scheduled to begin in January 2011. The two defendants were on the run for a few weeks before being apprehended in a New Jersey motel. If we do the math, this will presumably be 6 plus years from the actual murders to the onset of the criminal trial for DiMeo.
And we''ll have to wait and see if his lawyers don't manage to come up with something designed to delay the trial, as public defenders with difficult cases are so often want to do.It's become standard fare here in Connecticut.

As a Fairfield resident, I remember well when these murders happened. The town was shocked, devastated and so, so angry. The murders were senseless;The couple had cooperated with the robbers, giving them jewelery and money, not resisting. And yet, Tim Dimeo, a reported heroin addict,, murdered both Mr. and Mrs Donnelly in cold blood, leaving them on the floor of their store, dying from their gunshot wounds. All I could think about was Mrs donne

A friend bought me a beautiful Gold necklace with a Celtic medallion from the Donnelly store just a month or so before the murders.  Mr. Donnelly graciously helped my friend with this relatively modest purchase, treating him as if he were buying the most expensive piece of Jewelry in the store. That spoke volumes of the man.

The charm, it turns out, means "eternal life"

Nov 12, 2010

Paedophile-naming website gets 100,000 hits in first day |

Interesting story from The UK. about a young man that decided to gather information regarding pedophiles for public safety. We should follow suit here in the U.S , we do have the sex offender database but its not specific to child predators.

Nov 8, 2010

Death.Penalty Verdict for Steven Hayes

Today, a parcel of Justice was meted out for Jennifer, Hayley, Michaela -and William Petit. The members of the Jury presiding over the trial for Steven J. Hayes should be well commended. With a painstaking thoroughness, they poured over evidence and testimony and labored for days, all in an effort to make a fair and Just decision -a decision directed by law and common sense. Their wisdom and their courage have inadvertently helped begin the process of healing - for our communities, our state, and for the many people everywhere so deeply affected by these crimes.

May the Petit, Hawke, Chapman and Renn families sleep a bit more peacefully tonight; There could not be a stronger, more tenacious and devoted family advocating for loved ones lost to violence. William Petit Jr. has carried out the sacred, though often arduous duty of witness, survivor and advocate for justice. He has done so consistently with grace, dignity and a determined strength that has gained our deepest respect and admiration.

Rest in peace Hayley, Michaela and Jennifer, our solace is knowing that you are now forever in God's loving embrace; Be assured that we will continue to fight for Justice, in your memory, in your names.

Nov 6, 2010

Jury Begins Day Two of Deliberations in Steven Hayes trial

This is absolutely maddening to me.
I cannot believe that even one member of this jury is taking seriously these utterly fake and manipulative "mitigating factors." "Mitigating Factors", that Hayes and his lawyers have spent years coming up with, as they searched for any plausible scenario that could conceivably pass for encompassing just such a "mitigating factor". Hayes's attorneys are well familiar that a mitigating factor is the only hope of escaping a death penalty verdict. This case is one of the worst that Ullmann has ever had to deal with insofar as a veritable deluge of evidence against his client, not the least withstanding, being caught red handed fleeing the Petit's burning house, with the two girls tied alive to their beds upstairs, and Steven Hayes reeking of gasoline, riding shotgun in the Petits Family car away from the scene.

Steven Hayes has proven himself time and again to be chronically deceitful, he has consistently refused to take responsibility for what he has done. Instead, he's used the 3 plus years in prison since the murders, to come up with anything- anything at all that might sound like a plausible "mitigating factor" to help keep him from a well deserved death sentence.

The trouble was that the man was mired in self damning evidence up to his eyeballs, and his lawyers knew it. Gas station video from a trip he'd made at 6 that morning. Cell phone records showing him traveling to a more distant town to get the gasoline to burn down the Petit home, as well the Petit family, who not only could possibly identify them, but whose bodies would contain DNA evidence, as slight as a hair or flake of skin.

Police witnesses saw Hayes running out of the burning Petit home laughing, laughing - with Hayley Petit's school hat perched atop his head! Is this a man who was in a shocked state, a daze a panic or an uncrontolable rage? ! Rather it sounds like a sadistic, gloating sociopath, one who had no idea that police had quietly surrounded the property and were indeed waiting with a roadblock up the street. Hayes and his accomplice Joshua Komisarjevsky thought that they'd pulled it off; they were getting away with the 15000, as the evidence of their sexual assaults were were burning to death upstairs, and another victim of rape, already dead by Hayes's hands, was burning the fastest, her body so doused in gasoline that nothing would be left of her, including all evidence of their cruel and sadistic crimes.

Enter the highly paid Forensic Psychotherapist hired by the defense; The plan was to meet with Hayes over hours and hours of "Therapy", whereby Mr Hayes, no doubt prepped by his attorneys to "confess" to yet a whole new version of events concerning the night and morning of the rapes and murders. Carefully, with as much twisting, manipulating and deciet,they tried to plant seeds that would later be used in this trial ( specifically the penalty phase, as it was a no brainer that Hayes would be found guilty of at least most of the capital crimes.)

The only chance to avoid a death sentence was just one" mitigating factor" that they could muster up, and hope that the jury would be gullible enough to believe.

At one point Hayes and komsarjevsky had struggled with Hayley Petit when she'd broken out of her binds and tried to use a cell phone to call for help. That struggle alone left DNA in its wake. As well he'd likely molested Hayley and probably Jennifer Petit before the actual rape that he'd committed the moment Mrs Petit returned to the house with Hayes, having procured the 15000 from the bank just as the men asked for, believing that they would now go away, and leave her and her family safe and alive.

Steven Hayes, who had to play nice up until that point in order to gain Mrs Petits compliance, likely turned on this poor woman the moment he was back at the house, "chomping at the bit" to sexually assault her. Both men tied her up, this time with a noose around her neck - Why?

My guess is that Jennigfer Petit was screaming as she realized what was going to happen and hayes strangled her partly in order to silence her at that moment. He'd already admitted that he "didnt know if he'd have the guts to kill her" remember. He either raped her while he strangled her or just after, we'll never really know, because Jennifer Petits body was so burnt that forensics were extremely difficult. Hayes stories about the crimes keep changing, and he has given so many contradictory versions of what happened that one must discard anything that doesnt make sense and rely on the evidence, his first testimony when caught off guard prior to being prepped by his lawyers, and most importantly, common sense as it relates to the whole picture of evidence.

Common sense says that there is no way hayes was told that the girls were dead, and no way that he did not already know that they were going to burn down the house. He had procured the gasoline himself for Goodness sakes -hours and hours earlier! Spare us this mendacious, colossal wate of time and resource. Why on earth would the two rapist/thieves plan to burn down the home but first 'bring the family into their car" whilst doing so !? This is one of the stories that Hayes told the Defense- hired Psychiatrist, in one of his many "therapy" sessions in prison.

This is so absurd and so insulting to our collective intelligence, that I wouldn't even give it mention, it if not for the fact that several members of this jury would appear to possibly be bamboozled into believing some of this nonsense that a sociopath and his lawyers has tried to feed them, using this psychiatrist as the "credible" messenger.
This is also a clever device that the defense came up with in order to get Haye's new and improved version of what happened on the morning of the murders into testimony without actually calling Hayes to testify. If Steven Hayes actually testified, he'd be of course subject to cross examination by the prosecution, who would make mince-meat out of his "testimony". That's the thing about lies, they never stand up under scrutinization, and the person lying can never keep perfect track of his lies. Therefore the liar will always trip up when questioned and re-questioned, especially in front of a jury. Hence, the shrink.

It is frustratingly clear to those of us familiar with this case that these mitigating factors are no more than desperate attempts at wrangling the awful facts of this case into something-anything that might resemble Steven Hayes having any reason in the world to murder three innocent human beings, other than to destroy DNA evidence of crimes that clearly began as crimes of sexual violence and control. The crimes were discussed as you'll recall on cellphone texts sent between the two men hours before they met for the" home invasion."

Hayes: "are we on... I'm chomping at the bit here to get started!"

Joshua Komisarjevsky: Hold your horses man, I'm putting the kid to bed"

Hayes : "Dude, the horses are dying to get loose- lol"

These men went to the Petit home with Rape on their minds first and foremost, money was a secondary gain, albeit one that they hoped would materialize also from the crimes.
They brought rope, masks, zip ties. Why? They robbed three houses in the two days prior to the Petit murders and they didn't need those items for those crimes..

This was to be a night of sexual assaults for both men and it was clearly illustrated within the test messages between the men, as well as earlier statements to police. If anything, Hayes appears to be the one who is most anxious to get at the women in the Petit household.

Clearly his pal told him about Mrs Petit who he had seen with Michaela earlier that day and he had noted she was tall blond attractive and young looking -which he'd obviously confided to his friend and robbery partner Steven Hayes. Hayes jumped on the opportunity to sexually assault a strange women he hadn't yet seen but his buddy told him he'd like. Plus it look like they might be able to get some money and goods from the house although by Cheshire standards there were many more affluent homes to choose from.

This house was chosen because of the the attractive Mrs Petit and sadly 11 year old Michaela who Komisarjebvsky being a pedophile has his sick sights on.

Each and every scenario that Steven Hayes fed this therapist can be completely and thoroughly dis proven and indeed proven to be pre-meditated lies lies told in order to try to escape accountability for his despicable actions and even more importantly lies that could conceivably appear as if there were "mitigating factors" such as mindless rage" due to his accomplice lying to him about the girls being dead, "blah, blah, blah.

None of this - None corroborates with Hayes earlier testimony to police, which as I said, was clearly evasive and missing details and elaboration, but what there was of it, mostly matched the forensic evidence, not to mention the common sense sequence of events for that fateful morning, when he and his accomplice killed three members of the Petit family.

"Don't worry it will all be over soon" One of the men shouted down to Dr Petit who was bloodied and tied to a pole in his cellar. These are not the words of a panicked person, nor would anyone present be in a panic. This is an attitude of bravado in fact they were taunting Dr Petit and had they not he might not have had the Adrenalin surge to break his binds and roll to a neighbors garage crying to call 911.

God help this Jury with clarity of mind and heart. Let each and everyone of them understand that they have been conned, or rather that the defense and Mr Hayes are attempting to con them. None of these so called "mitigating factors" are genuine. Mr Hayes is a calculating rapist and murderer. He and his attorneys are hoping to use the natural human instinct to want to believe that no body could be so evil as this, and this, this is the very same mistake that Jennifer Hawke Petit, with all of her innocence and goodwill-made, when returning to the car with Steven Hayes in the back seat, handing over her last bargaining tool-15000.

Evil people do exist. One of them is sitting in a courtroom right now, waiting, hoping that he has conned 12 people well enough to spend whats left of his life on anti-anxiety meds, reading, writing, eating, meeting with therapists, and spending time with the occassional family member who visits. These are all things that Jennifer, Hayley and Michaela Petit will never do again

Nov 5, 2010

Steven Hayes Jury Ends Day 1 Of Deliberations

It has been decades since a Superior Court jury deliberated on a weekend, but with just one alternate left and the high-stakes nature of the widely publicized Cheshire home-invasion trial, jurors deciding triple murderer Steven Hayes' fate will be back at work early today.

The five men and seven women ended their first day of deliberations Friday without reaching a verdict.

Two notes they sent with hypothetical vote counts on charges suggest they are divided on mitigating factors in the case, which could result in Hayes' being spared the death penalty for the killings of Jennifer Hawke-Petit and her daughters, Hayley and Michaela.

Hayes was convicted Oct. 5 of breaking into the Petits' home in the middle of the night on July 23, 2007, beating Dr. William Petit Jr. and tying up the family while he and an accomplice robbed the family's Cheshire home. At one point, Hayes forced Hawke-Petit to drive to a bank to withdraw money.

When they returned to the home, Hayes raped and strangled Hawke-Petit. The house was doused with gasoline and set on fire. Hayley, 17, died of smoke inhalation. Michaela, 11, suffered the same cause of death and was also sexually assaulted by Hayes' accomplice, Joshua Komisarjevsky, according to trial testimony.

Petit was the only family member to survive the attack and arson.

Komisarjevsky, 30, of Cheshire, will go to trial next year. He also faces execution if convicted.

Six of the 16 counts Hayes was found guilty of are capital felonies, making Hayes, 47, of Winsted, eligible for death by lethal injection.

Judge Jon C. Blue began Friday's juror discussions at 10:19 a.m., telling the panel, "With much thanks and appreciation, we will let you go to work." The jury then went to the deliberation room while members of the victims' family and news reporters waited in the courtroom. The mood in the gallery was mostly light, and the talkative crowd was quieted often by judicial marshals and the judge, who stepped out from his chambers from time to time.

But that lightness wore thin as the day progressed and two notes, the first coming at 2:40 p.m., hinted that jurors could be struggling with their deliberations. Some jurors appeared a little worn and some sighed and took deep breaths as they stepped into the courtroom to get instructions from the judge on how to proceed.

The first note, which Blue described as "complicated," asked the judge and lawyers: "What does it mean to unanimously find the existence of a statutory mitigating factor?"

By law, if jurors are unanimous that statutory mitigating factors exist on one of the capital felony charges, then a sentence of life without the possibility of release is imposed on that particular charge.

The three statutory mitigating factors applicable to this case are: impaired mental capacity, impaired ability to conform one's conduct to law, and the inability to have reasonably foreseen that one's conduct would pose grave risk of causing death. The third factor applies for only some of the counts against Hayes.

The judge said the note asked what if, hypothetically, some jurors find at least one mitigating factor and others find none.

"In our example, two jurors have no for all three statutory mitigating factors, and they refuse to sign yes. What is the next step?" the note asked. Blue told them they are not unanimous and sent them back to deliberate.

A second note came out at 4:13 p.m. asking for more clarification on the statutory mitigating factors involving Hayes' mental capacity and Hayes' ability to conform his conduct to the requirements of the law.

They were still divided on the factors, the note said, and the jurors wanted to know how to fill out the verdict form so they could move on to the next phase of their deliberations. Blue told them the verdict form does not get filled out until each person finds that a statutory mitigating factor exists, or all 12 agree that there is none.

To return a finding that a statutory mitigating factor exists, jurors do not have to be unanimous about which one, but they have to be unanimous that a least one factor exists.

Criminal defense attorney Hugh Keefe of New Haven, who is not involved in this case, said that if jurors cannot unanimously agree on statutory mitigating factors, then a hung jury would result.
The case would revert to the beginning of the penalty phase and a new jury would have to be chosen. Keefe said any new penalty phase would be longer than this one because evidence from the guilt phase would have to be re-introduced to the new jury.

If a hung jury occurred, the defense could file a motion asking the judge to accept a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of release.

Blue asked the jurors if they wanted to continue deliberating and the foreman said they wanted to return this morning. They will resume their work at 9 a.m.

Hayes' defense attorneys argued that a troubled family history, an addiction to drugs and alcohol, a "significantly impaired" mental state and Hayes' status as "a follower and not the mastermind" contributed to his role in the home-invasion killings.

They say Hayes "was unable to prevent escalating violence due to his damaged weak follower personality and significant character flaws." They claim that Hayes was in a state of intense rage at the time of the crime and is now remorseful and has an "unrelenting burden of guilt." The defense argues that Hayes has responded to the crimes with "shame, humiliation, depression, suicidality and empathy" for the victims.

Prosecutors, however, portrayed Hayes, a longtime criminal who was on parole at the time of the Petit killings, as a conniving, sadistic and violent thief whose failed attempts at living a clean and law-abiding life led to a life in and out of prison.

A prison official testified that Hayes was a self-aware, manipulative inmate shrewd to how his self-professed suicide attempts — and the prison system's reporting of them — could affect whether he received life in prison without the possibility of release or death.

Courant Staff Writer Josh Kovner contributed to this story.

Saturday's luminaria lighting in Cheshire puts focus on healing

This Years "Lights of Hope" ceremony will be held on Sunday November 7th in Cheshire. Oddly enough, the event could conceivably coincide with a verdict in the Hayes trial, as Jury deliberations in the sentencing phase were continued into the week-end because a unanimous decision had not beeen reached by the end of Friday afternoon.

The Lights Of Hope Ceremony had been a tradition in Cheshire and Plainville for over five years, started in Cheshire by local resident Karen Walsh and her husband who came up as an idea to raise community awareness and monies for research/treatment for Multiple Sclerosis, a disease of the Central Nervous System that often strikes women in their prime of life.

Jennifer Hawke Petit had been diagnosed with M.S in 1999, eight years prior to her murder in 2007. She and her daughters Hayley and Michaela were very involved in raising money for The M.S Society; Hayley raised over 50,000 during the time that she ran her own personal MS charity called "Hayley's hope", a charity that Michaela was to inherit once Hayley went to College in the fall. Sadly, she never got the chance to realize her own goals with MS fund raising.

After the Petit family murders in 2007, the ceremony came to adapt a new and more Powerful message; The lights of hope became larger than life, they were no longer just a pretty charity ceremony But now came to symbolize the very words that the candle votive in bags, spelled out across the lawn on the town green, Cheshire Academy and where ever there was a large expanse of open field; Hope, faith, love and the healing power that together,community and faith embody. The Cheshire lights of hope have also become a spectacular display honoring one of Cheshire's most beloved families.

Through the beauty and magnificence of the lights, as well as the joint communal efforts made by hundreds of volunteers from the area," the lights of hope" has become a perfect symbol of the effort, the struggle and indeed, the victory that we each hold in our hand when we illuminate the darkness.

Nov 4, 2010

Hayes sentencing in jury's hands

The sentencing phase of the Hayes trial is finally over and the decision
Whether hayes receives the death penalty or prison, is now in the jury's hands

We are told that it could be days hours or even weeks before the jury reaches a verdict.
For now. We must wait and for those of us inclined to do so, pray.

Defense: Jail worse than death for Conn. defendant

Defense: Jail worse than death for Conn. defendant

FILE - This undated inmate file photo released in February 2010 by the Connecticut Department of Correction shows Steven Hayes, accused of severely beating Dr. William Petit, Jr., and killing his wife and two daughters during a home invasion in Cheshire, Conn., July 23, 2007. Hayes' attorneys are challenging a judge's decision to replace a regular juror with an alternate to determine his sentence. A hearing will be held Wednesday, Nov. 3, 2010, in New Haven, Conn., on the motion. The jury is expected to begin deliberations Friday on whether Hayes should get the death sentence or life in prison. (AP Photo/Connecticut Department of Correction, File) (Anonymous - AP)
Enlarge Photo
Network NewsX Profile

View More Activity

Resize Print E-mail Reprints

Your browser's settings may be preventing you from commenting on and viewing comments about this item. See instructions for fixing the problem.
Discussion Policy CLOSEComments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or privacy policies or any other policies governing this site. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions. You are fully responsible for the content that you post.

The Associated Press
Thursday, November 4, 2010; 1:59 PM

NEW HAVEN, Conn. -- A life sentence in prison would actually be harsher than a death sentence for a Connecticut man who killed a woman and her two daughters in a home invasion, because he is so haunted by the crime and isolated in prison, his attorney told a jury Thursday.

Steven Hayes never testified at his trial, but his attorney had him stand up and join him at a podium, face to face with the jury only feet away, as he asked the panel to spare his client from execution. Hayes kept his eyes downcast.

"This is a human being," Hayes' attorney, Tom Ullmann, said during his closing argument. "You may despise what he did. But he's not a rabid dog that needs to be put down."

Hayes was convicted of sexually assaulting and strangling Jennifer Hawke-Petit at her Cheshire home in 2007. Authorities say her daughters died of smoke inhalation after they were tied to their beds and doused with gasoline before the house was set ablaze.

Prosecutors said the crime cried out for the death penalty, saying Hayes and his co-defendant, Joshua Komisarjevsky, tormented the family for seven hours before they were killed. Prosecutors showed a photo of the victims smiling and another photo of a terrified Hawke-Petit at the bank withdrawing money for the men.

Komisarjevsky awaits trial.

"Mr. Hayes and Mr. Komisarjevsky were on a power trip," said prosecutor Gary Nicholson. "They enjoyed the power and control they were exercising over this family."

Nicholson said the victims knew they were about to die.

"In her last moments on this earth as the defendant's hands were choking the life out of her, what was Mrs. Petit thinking about?" Nicholson said. "What were the defendants going to do to her daughters if they were doing this to her."

Nicholson said the girls would have been screaming for their lives.

Defense attorney Patrick Culligan urged jurors to look at the case unemotionally. He emphasized a psychiatrist's testimony that Hayes was in an extreme emotional state triggered by Komisarjevsky telling him the victims were dead after Hayes returned from a bank with Hawke-Petit.

Prosecutor Michael Dearington rejected that argument, saying Hayes knew the girls were still alive when he returned from the bank because he told police he noticed one of the girls had changed clothes.

Prosecutors also rejected defense claims that Hayes was just a follower and Komisarjevsky was the mastermind. They cited text messages the men exchanged the night of the crime in which Hayes said he was "chomping at the bit to get started."

Hayes' attorneys say he repeatedly tried to kill himself in prison after the crime and was deeply remorseful.

"Only Steven Hayes' death can free him from that burden," Ullmann said. "Why would you want to relieve Steven Hayes of that burden?"

Ullmann said Hayes has been kept isolated in prison since the crime and will remain so because other inmates would kill him. He noted that parole had been suspended in Connecticut after the crime.

"If you want to end his misery, you should execute him," Ullmann said. "If you want to end his oppressive and overwhelming conditions of confinement, kill him."

Prosecutors reminded the jury that a prison official testified this week that Hayes indicated he would be fine with a life sentence and that he told her he planned to use his apparent suicidal behavior in prison to show he was remorseful and influence his sentence.

Jury deliberations start Friday.

Donnelly Murder trial scheduled

An update on the Donnelly murder trial; Jury selection is finally finished, individual voire-dire not withstanding. It has been six years since these murders took place.

Judge rejects mistrial in Hayes case; Penalty deliberations slated to start today - The Middletown Press : Serving Middletown, CT

Judge: No Mistrial in Hayes Penalty Phase

These lawyers for Hayes are pretty desperate.

Nov 1, 2010

Hayes' brother: Don't kill yourself -

It's amazing how two brothers from the same family could be so very very different, and it only flies in the face of the concept that so many defense attorney's try to sell us: that abuse, abandonment and/ or flagrant neglect in childhood creates criminals like Steven Hayes. There is always a choice, everyone, including Steven and Matthew Hayes are given free will There are men and women with far worse childhoods who do not choose to become criminals who prey upon others.

Matthew Hayes sounds as if he is fairly religious or spiritual person, a no nonsense sort who is encouraging his brother to take responsibility for his crimes. Unfortunately, despite what Hayes attorneys and their hired hand forensic Psychiatrist claim, Joshua Komisarjevsky is not the only sociopath in this murderous pair.

Unfortunately, these two men are both Sociopaths, which created a perfect storm of sorts for one of the most brutal set of murders this state has ever seen. Komisarjevsky is clearly the more intelligent of the two and likely called most of the shots as Cheshire was his turf and he targeted the Petit's for the sexual assaults for both men and the Robbery. I believe Komisarjevsky used Mrs Jennifer Petit as incentive for Hayes who he'd obviously shared common fantasies of rape with.
This can be easily surmised in the texts that Hayes and Komsiarejevsky exchanged hours before the crimes.
JK Wrote "Dude hold your horses I'm putting the kid top bed"

Hayes wrote back "dude, hurry up, my horses are dying to get loose! lol!"

Does this sound like a reference to a house robbery or a planned evening of sexual assault?

But the real story about Steven Hayes's soul is told through the many hours he spent with this psychiatrist, who ironically was brought in by the defense, almost as a way of getting Hayes testimony into the trial without Hayes having to take the stand-(and thus be cross examined by the Prosecution.) Thirty some odd hours of "therapy" later and Hayes never ever copped to anything resembling the truth about what happened on the morning of July 23rd, when three members of the Petit family were brutally assaulted and murdered. In fact I believe he diverged further from the truth that he'd told to police albeit with some very big omissions right after he was taken into custody.

His entire version of the events leading up to the murder completely conflict with what he said earlier to Police, of particular note was the fact that he'd claimed to have seen Michalea Petit changed into new clothes and showered with her hair wet, this when he returned with the money. This was the truth and it made sense, later he contradicted this important piece of info told to police when he tells the shrink that upon return from the bank komisarjevsky told him he'd raped and thus killed the girls and that Dr Petit was dead. This is patently absurd and flies in the face of reason.

I do think that Hayes spent many hours trying to come up with any viable reason for killing Mrs Petit, for bothhis criminal case and possibly in attempt to save face with perhaps his daughter. So far we've been given three or four vesrions all of which contradict eachother: First, Josh told him to get rid of her, and rape her to square things up" for the rape of Michaela. Then he Claimed he saw the cops and went into a rage and killed and then raped her.-That doesn't fit at all because if either man knew the police were outside, they most certainly would not escalate what were thus far lesser crimes to a famicide murder as they'd intended Dr Petit to die in the fire before he escaped. Also the men were heard laughing as they ran out of the house. This certainly doesn't jive with a panicked Steven Hayes in shock and controlled by Josh feeeling as if in an altered reality"

Police testimony from an officer close to the house reported hearing the men laughing as they ran out of the now on fire home. Hayes was wearing Hayley Petits school hat on his head as well. More evidence of not only no conscience, but rather a complete gloating towards the 17 year old he'd just left to burn to death in the Petit house.

And when faced with the evidence that he went to a gas station at 6 am that morning, proving the murders were pre-meditated and that he was entirely aware of the plan for killing the family, Hayes states that he thought they were going to bring the family out into their car while they burned down the house. If this isn't ridiculous, I don't know what is. As one can see this is a simple case of "oh what a tangled web we weave" and I think it's time we stop these games and allow Justice to be served.

Last defense witness heard in Hayes penalty trial

The Defense's last witness finished testimony this morning. Rebuttal witness for the Forensic Psychiatrist is expected Tuesday, and soon thereafter the Jury should be given instructions to begin their deliberations regarding whether Hayes gets the Death Penalty or Life in Prison.

Let us pray that Justice will be served for Jennifer, Hayley, Michaela and William Petit Jr.