Judge Jon Blue has denied the motion filed by lawyers for Steven Hayes for a new trial or a new penalty phase hearing in their client’s conviction and death sentence in the Cheshire home invasion murders. The Judicial Department released a twelve-page memorandum of decision Friday morning on the motion heard earlier this week. Hayes’ lawyers had argued that too much emotion in the case had unduly swayed the jury.
Hayes was convicted of the murders of Jennifer Hawke-Petit and her daughters Hayley and Michaela at their home in Cheshire in 2007.
The judge says the atmosphere in the courtroom was professional, that the jury was told to avoid all publicity concerning the case and that the jurors gave every indication of being a “sober group of citizens taking its awesome responsibility with the utmost seriousness.”