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Thursday
Nov042010

Attorney in Petit Case Asks Death Penalty Jury to Relive 'Night of Hell'

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(NEW HAVEN, Conn.) -- A Connecticut jury Thursday was asked one more time to go through the "night of hell" that ended with the murders of a mother and her two daughters as the hands of a man the state is trying to execute.

In his closing argument, Connecticut State's Attorney Gary Nicholson, requested the jurors consider what Jennifer Hawke-Petit was thinking the night convicted murderer Steven Hayes "choked the life out of her."

"Were they in psychological pain?" Nicholson asked as photographs of a smiling Hawke-Petit and her two murdered daughters, Hayley, 17 and Michaela, 11, were shown. "Were they tortured? Of course they were."

State's Attorney Michael Dearington showed the jury one final photograph of the Petit family. Several friends and Petit family members bowed their heads and started quietly sobbing, holding tissues to their faces.

Dearington ended by saying, "There were two beautiful girls, one loving mother and one family destroyed."

The state is pushing for Hayes -- convicted of 16 felony counts relating to the 2007 home invasion at the Petit house -- to be handed the death penalty for his role in the murders and the rapes of Hawke-Petit and Michaela.

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