September 22nd, 2010
06:15 PM ET

Detective: Home invasion suspect was 'desperate for money'

CNN Wire Staff

New Haven, Connecticut (CNN) - A man accused of killing three members of a Connecticut family and setting their home ablaze in a 2007 home invasion told police after his arrest that he was "desperate for money," the officer who interviewed him testified Wednesday.

Steven Hayes is charged with capital murder, kidnapping, sexual assault, burglary and arson in the July 2007 deaths of Jennifer Hawke-Petit and her daughters, Hayley Petit, 17, and Michaela Petit, 11.

Hayes and co-defendant Joshua Komisarjevsky - who will be tried separately - also are accused of beating and tying up Dr. William Petit and leaving him in the basement while they attacked Hawke-Petit and Michaela Petit, ransacked the home and set it afire.

Hayes, who has pleaded not guilty, could face the death penalty if convicted. Public defender Thomas Ullmann conceded in the defense's opening statement that Hayes killed Hawke-Petit but said that, otherwise, much of what happened is unclear.

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