Jurors Had Photo of Victims in Home Invasion Trial
NEW HAVEN, Conn. -- A juror on the panel that condemned a Connecticut man to death for a home invasion triple slaying said Tuesday they kept a picture of the victims in plain view during the deliberations.
Jurors also said they had an emotional meeting in the courthouse basement with the husband and father of the victims after announcing their verdict.
On Monday, the panel unanimously condemned Steven Hayes to death for a night of terror in 2007 inside a suburban home where a woman was strangled and her two daughters were tied to their beds and left to die in a gasoline-fueled fire.
Juror Diane Keim told ABC's "Good Morning America" the picture of Jennifer Hawke-Petit and her daughters, 11-year-old Michaela and 17-year-old Hayley, functioned as a reminder for the panel.
"We were looking at the law, we had to make decisions within the law but the family was in front of us, reminding us what we were doing and why we were there," Keim said.
Juror Paula Calzetta told CBS's "The Early Show" the jury came to feel like they knew the girls during the course of the trial.
Juror Herbert Gram told ABC that he had a difficult time holding back tears during Monday's meeting with Dr. William Petit, who was beaten but survived the home invasion, and Petit's mother. He says Petit shook jurors' hands and thanked them.
The jury asked the judge if it could meet with Petit after deciding to condemn Hayes to death, he said.
"Probably that was one of the most touching moments, to actually shake his hand, and feel with him a feeling of having come to a conclusion, or come to a sensible end to this horrible thing that he went through," Gram said.
"There's no question the man has strength," he said. "If any one of us could follow this man's strength you would have walked a good road."
Another defendant charged in the killings, Joshua Komisarjevsky, is set to go on trial before a different jury next year. He also faces the possibility of the death penalty.