Juror dismissed from Hayes sentencing trial

CHESHIRE - A juror was dismissed from the death penalty trial for Steven Hayes, the first of two suspects in the fatal 2007 Cheshire home invasion.

The judge disqualified a woman on the panel after the clerk heard her making a derogatory comment toward someone in court.

Steven Hayes was convicted of killing Jennifer Hawke-Petit and her two daughters in Cheshire in 2007.

Dr. Eric Goldsmith, a psychiatrist, testified yesterday that Hayes told him he strangled and then raped Jennifer Hawke-Petit. Goldsmith says Hayes told him he went into a rage after his co-defendant told him he killed the young girls.

The judge will now assign an alternate juror to deliberate Hayes' fate.The second suspect will go on trial next year.

Steven Hayes penalty phase resumes todayDeath penalty phase begins in Hayes trialJudge rules against convicted Cheshire killerPenalty phase begins for convicted killerHayes convicted in deadly Cheshire home invasionHome invasion suspect out of hospitalJury selection halted in Cheshire murder case

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