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Thursday
Dec022010

Relatives of Murdered Family Speak Out in Court

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(NEW HAVEN, Conn.) -- Heartrending statements made Thursday by relatives of the family brutally murdered during a 2007 home invasion brought the packed Connecticut courtroom to tears, as convicted killer Steven Hayes stared straight ahead, silently awaiting his sentence of death.

In a videotaped statement played to the courtroom, Cynthia Hawke-Renn, the sister of Jennifer-Hawke Petit, who was killed alongside her two daughters, Hayley and Michaela, said Hayes took away "the joy from every single day."

"Last night I had the repeated nightmare that I am Hayley struggling in flames and smoke," said Hawke-Renn. "With palpitations I awaken, left to wonder how does this nightmare ever end."

"I used to have trust and faith in humanity and you have taken that from me," she said. "You did not have to murder or rape any of them."

Hayes is convicted of raping and strangling Hawke-Petit and accused accomplice Joshua Komisarjevsky is charged with sexually assaulting 11-year-old Michaela Petit. Michaela and her older sister Hayley, 17, died after they were tied to their beds, doused with gasoline and the house was set on fire. Last month, the jury unanimously found the death penalty the appropriate punishment for Hayes' role in the triple murders.

Hawke-Renn said that Hayes will die a "peaceful" death when he's given a lethal injection, "one without pain."

"I would have given anything for my loved ones to have died in this same peaceful manner," she said.

William Petit Sr., the father of Dr. William Petit Jr., the husband and father of the victims who was badly beaten with a bat, was the only person to survive the attack on his Cheshire, Conn., home, said in his statement that his family "will never be the same."

"You destroyed our family," said Petit Sr., breaking down into tears. "[Dr. Petit] will never walk them down the aisle, he will never know the wonderment of grandchildren."

"He doubts if he should be living at all. We have lost the [Dr. Petit] we all knew," he said. "He puts on a brave face. It works for a while but there is no way of forgetting the brutal truth."

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