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Petit Family Murder Trial: New Evidence, Testimony Paints Graphic Picture of Conn. Home Invasion

Petit Family Murder Trial
Petit Family (Personal Photo)

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (CBS/AP) The detective who interviewed Steven Hayes after his arrest in a deadly Connecticut home invasion took the stand Wednesday, saying Hayes told him no one was supposed to get hurt.

PICTURES: Petit Family Murders

State police Detective Anthony Buglione said that Hayes, one of two suspects charged with the murder and sexual assault of Jennifer Hawke-Petit and her two daughters on July 23, 2007, told police the original plan was to break into a home, tie the people up, steal their money and flee.

But then "things got out of control," Hayes allegedly told the detective.

Buglione testified that he interviewed Hayes the day of the crime and that he was emotionless and reeked of gasoline, according to CBS affiliate WFSB.

The detective testified that Hayes and his co-defendant, Joshua Komisarjevsky, hatched a plan to rob a home and ended up in a neighborhood in Cheshire, an affluent community in suburban New Haven.

The house they picked had a light on the rear porch, and police say Hayes told them they saw a man, Hawke-Petit's husband Dr. William Petit, sleeping on a couch on the porch. Komisarjevsky allegedly hit him four or five times with a baseball bat they found at the home.

Steven Hayes, left, and Joshua Komisarjevsky.

Buglione said Hayes and Komisarjevsky told Dr. Petit to be quiet and that they were only there for the money. But when they didn't find as much money as they had hoped, they went for more upstairs, where they found a woman and two girls. They tied them up and put pillow cases over their heads. It's at that point the plan changed.

PICTURES: Petit Family Murders

The men found a bank book with $20,000 to $30,000 in the account and decided to take the mother to the bank and have her withdraw some of it, and Hayes went to a gas station to fill some gas containers they found at the house, police say Hayes told them.

Hayes said while he took the mother to the bank, Komisarjevsky was supposed to put the family members in a car and then they would burn the house to destroy any evidence, according to the police report.

Hayes said that when he got back, Komisarjevsky implied he had had sex with the younger girl and told Hayes to have sex with the mother to "square things up," which Hayes did, police say.

Hayes said Komisarjevsky went into the living room, where Hayes had had sex with the mother, and told him Petit had escaped and the police were coming, the detective testified.

Hayes said he smelled gasoline and the men grabbed some jewelry and the money and were apprehended as they fled, police say.

Testimony by two medical examiners also revealed chilling details of the brutal crimes committed against the Petit family.

During cross-examination by the defense, state forensic science examiner John Brunetti testified that Komisarjevsky had photos of Michaela on his cell phone.

Connecticut's medical examiner, Wayne Carver, described the painful and panic-stricken smoke inhalation death likely suffered by Michaela. He said her death likely took several minutes, as soot in her lungs and air passages showed she breathed smoke after the men set fire to her home.

Hayes and Komisarjevsky, who's awaiting trial, have tried to blame each other for escalating the crime. WFSB reports both defendants had offered to plead guilty in exchange for life sentences, but prosecutors pushed for death penalty trials, defense attorneys have said.

Hayes' trial resumed Wednesday after being delayed early this week because the judge was hospitalized. Carver is expected to continue testifying Thursday.

Reporting Contributed by CBS Affiliate WFSB

Complete Coverage of the Petit Family Murders on Crimesider.

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