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Conn. Home Invasion: Steven Hayes Threatened to Kill Guard

Suspect Steven Hayes, currently on trial.
AP Photo/Connecticut State Police, File
Conn. Home Invasion: Steven Hayes Threatened to Kill Guard
Steven Hayes (AP Photo/Connecticut State Police)

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (CBS/AP) As defense attorneys continue to argue against the death penalty for Steven Hayes, who was convicted last month of the 2007 murders of Jennifer Hawke-Petit and her two daughters, the jury who will make that decision heard a report that Hayes threatened a prison guard in March.

PICTURES: The Petit Family

The revelation came from the prosecution in response to testimony from psychologist Mark Cunningham who said Hayes would likely serve his sentence without seriously hurting an inmate or prison staffer.

He said Hayes had already served 25 years in prison, on an unrelated charge, without committing serious violence before being paroled just before the 2007 murders. Cunningham also testified that the threat of violence is much greater from offenders younger than the 47-year-old Hayes.

But according to the report from March, Hayes pleaded guilty to threatening to kill a correction officer, according to The Hartford Courant.

"I have nothing to lose. I am on death row," Hayes said, according to the report. Hayes said it was the officer's "last warning."

This isn't the first time Hayes has made threats while being incarcerated, according to a report from 1986, when he was incarcerated for an earlier crime.

According to Frederick Levesque, a retired Department of Correction official, Hayes had previously been charged with making threats, disobeying orders and creating a disturbance. The report said Hayes did not have a slip to make a telephone call. When he was told to speak to a supervisor, he refused to get locked up, Levesque said, reading from the report.

The report said that Hayes told the correction officer: "I'm going to rip your heart out and shove it down your [expletive] throat. The only thing stopping me is your badge."

Closing arguments in the penalty phase are expected to be heard on Friday, with jury deliberations beginning next Monday.

COMPLETE COVERAGE OF THE PETIT MURDERS ON CRIMESIDER