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