NEW HAVEN, Conn. (CBS/AP) Steven Hayes was manipulative and calculating in his suicide attempts while being held for the 2007 triple murder of Jennifer Hawke-Petit and her two daughters, a prison official testified Tuesday, just before the prosecution rested their case seeking the death penalty for Hayes.
Karen Martucci, who has supervised Hayes daily in prison since last year, said she was aware of two possible suicide attempts by Hayes in January and last year. In September, Hayes told her he wanted a longer pen and unsupervised showers. Martucci said she reminded Hayes of a management plan enacted based on his earlier incidents.
"Those are the documents I'm going to use in the penalty phase of my case to show I can't live with myself for what I did," Hayes replied, according to Martucci.
In their arguments against the death penalty, Hayes' defense characterized his previous suicide attempts as proof of his remorse for the deaths of Hawke-Petit and her two daughters, Michaela, 11, and Hayley, 17. They also continued their trial strategy of shifting the blame for the violence onto Hayes' co-defendant Joshua Komisarjevsky, who faces trial next year.
A psychiatrist called by the defense testified earlier in the week that Hayes told him he strangled and then raped Hawke-Petit in a rage that was triggered when Komisarjevsky told him he had killed the girls while Hayes was at the bank with the mother. The defense is arguing Hayes was in an extreme emotional state that impaired his ability to control himself.
The prosecution countered that argument by saying that after the two men were apprehended fleeing the Petit house as it was engulfed in flames, Hayes told one detective that he knew the girls were still alive when they set the house on fire.
After closing arguments Thursday, a jury will begin deliberating the next day and continue over the weekend, if necessary, to determine whether Hayes should get the death penalty or life in prison.