Huffpost Crime

Steven Hayes, Connecticut Home Invasion Killer: 'I Just Snapped'

Posted: Updated:
STEVEN HAYES CONNECTICUT
FILE - These undated inmate file photos released by the Connecticut Department of Correction shows Steven Hayes, left, and Joshua Komisarjevsky. Both were separately convicted for killing the wife and two daughters of Dr. William Petit during a home invasion in Cheshire, Conn., July 23, 2007. Both will be incarcerated at the Northern Correctional Institution in Somers, Conn., but their attorneys and experts say they are likely to have little, if any, interaction. (AP Photo/Connecticut Department | AP

SOMERS, Conn. — A man convicted in the brutal home invasion killings of a Connecticut woman and her two daughters in 2007 said no one was supposed to get hurt and he "just snapped" before he and an accomplice set fire to the house.

"To this day I don't know why it happened, I just wanted money. That's all I was looking for," Steven Hayes said in an hour-long jailhouse interview with the New Haven Register, which published his comments in Sunday's editions ( ). http://bit.ly/17LzJpc

Hayes, 50, and Joshua Komisarjevsky, 33, were convicted of capital felony, murder, sexual assault and other crimes and sentenced to death for the July 2007 killings of Jennifer Hawke-Petit and her daughters, Hayley, 17, and Michaela, 11, at their home in suburban Cheshire.

The two men, both convicted burglars, spotted Hawke-Petit and Michaela at a local grocery store, followed them and later broke into their home. Komisarjevsky beat Dr. William Petit, the only survivor, with a baseball bat, and Hayes later went with Hawke-Petit to a bank and forced her to withdraw $15,000 under the threat of harming her family.

Authorities said Hayley and Michaela were tied to their beds. Komisarjevsky sexually assaulted Michaela, and Hayes strangled and sexually assaulted Hawke-Petit. The two girls died from smoke inhalation after Komisarjevsky and Hayes set the house on fire and fled before crashing into police cruisers and being arrested.

Hayes said he and Komisarjevsky were going to leave after he returned from the bank with Hawke-Petit. But then, he said, Komisarjevsky told him that he sexually assaulted Michaela.

"I started to lose it," Hayes said. "Then I looked out the window and saw an unmarked police car. And I just snapped."

He said what happened next, including his assaulting Hawke-Petit, "wasn't who I am."

"I wasn't thinking right; I don't know what I was thinking. It was so unlike me. I'd never done anything like that," he said.

Both Hayes and Komisarjevsky have blamed each other for escalating the crime.

In his first interview since being convicted in 2011, Komisarjevsky told The Associated Press last year that he tries not to think about the crime and suffers no nightmares about it. He declined to talk directly about the crime, citing advice from his lawyers.

At the Northern Correctional Institution in Somers, Hayes told the Register he can't stop thinking about the Cheshire murders. He also said he no longer thinks about killing himself.

"I realize now I've got to live with this pain," he said. "It's something I'm supposed to live with."

William Petit didn't respond to a request for comment.

Hawke-Petit's sister, Cindy Hawke-Renn, called Hayes' comments "too little, too late."

"How do you plan such behavior and allow people to die at your hands and burn alive, especially when you have children of your own? Snapped? Doesn't sound like an excuse to me," she told the newspaper.

___

Information from: New Haven Register, http://www.nhregister.com

Also on HuffPost:

Close
Connecticut Home Invasion
of
Share
Tweet
Advertisement
Share this
close
Current Slide

Suggest a correction

Around the Web

Connecticut home invasion killer Steven Hayes: 'I just snapped'

home invasion killer: 'I just snapped'

Steven Hayes from Death Row: 'I just snapped' at scene of Cheshire home ...