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Petit Family Killer Steven Hayes Wants to Die, Psychologist Testifies in Penalty Phase

Suspect Steven Hayes, currently on trial. AP Photo/Connecticut State Police, File

Steven Hayes (File, AP Photo/Conn. State Police)

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (CBS/AP) Steven Hayes, the Connecticut man convicted of a deadly 2007 home invasion, said he felt guilty and remorseful and wishes he could die as a result of the crime, a psychologist testified Wednesday in the punishment phase of the trial.

PICTURES: The Petit Family

Hayes faces a possible death penalty for killing Jennifer Hawke-Petit and her two daughters at their Cheshire home in July 2007.

Dr. Mark Cunningham said Hayes told him he has "lost all feelings" and is "completely numb." Hayes has attempted suicide in prison, and Cunningham said Hayes told him he still thinks of it but has no plans to kill himself, saying "just let the state do it."

Hayes also expressed concerns about spending the rest of his life in prison, said he hates the publicity from the case and does not want to put the relatives of his victims through it, Cunningham said. Hayes complained that some prison staff harassed him by saying he was going to die, turning a radio louder and making announcements at 3 a.m. or 4 a.m. to disturb his sleep, Cunningham said.

A parole officer, John Viscomi, testified Wednesday that Hayes missed two required appointments for substance-abuse evaluations a month before the crime, but he didn't send him back to prison. Viscomi said he believed Hayes, a paroled burglar, was attending meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous during the same period.

A defense attorney asked if there was anything that would lead him to believe Hayes could commit the violent home invasion, Viscomi replied softly, "None."

COMPLETE COVERAGE OF THE PETIT CASE ON CRIMESIDER

  • Barry Leibowitz

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