CNN Wire Staff
(CNN) - The sentencing phase in the trial of Steven Hayes, who was convicted of killing a mother and her two daughters during a brutal 2007 Connecticut home invasion, gets underway Monday.
Hayes, 47, could face the death penalty.
Earlier this month, he was found guilty of 16 of the 17 charges against him in connection with the deaths of Jennifer Hawke-Petit and her two daughters, including nine counts of murder and capital murder and four counts of kidnapping. Jurors acquitted him of an arson charge.
The killings took place in the New Haven, Connecticut, suburb of Cheshire early on July 23, 2007. The brutal nature of the attack shocked the well-to-do community and immediately drew nationwide attention.
William Petit, whose wife and two daughters were murdered, has said he will not testify during the sentencing phase of the trial. Petit said he "regretfully decided" against it because Connecticut's law on victim impact statements is unclear and could provide convicts with grounds to appeal their sentences.
During the penalty phase, jurors will determine whether the mitigating evidence the defense is expected to present outweighs the aggravating factors in favor of the death penalty.
Judge Jon Blue has suggested the penalty proceeding could last as long as four weeks, though the relatively quick pace of the guilt phase of Hayes' trial has led some to speculate the penalty phase could also be quick.
Filed under: 360° Radar
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