The crime horrified Connecticut residents -- Jennifer Hawke-Petit and her daughters Michaela, 11, and Hayley, 17 were beaten and left to die in their burning house after a 2007 burglary. When the triail of two men accused of the crime was scheduled, the father, Dr. William Petit, thought he was finally on the verge of justice. Then proceedingsl came to a standstill so the judge could consider the jail conditions complaint.
Steven Hayes, one of the two defendants in the case, is now saying through his lawyer that he's being treated inhumanely after being placed in an isolation cell following an apparent suicide attempt.
Among his complaints -- the lights are left on 24 hours a day and he is forced to eat with his hands rather than utensils.
"Somehow it was okay for the defendants to bind us and beat us and tape us and rape us and torture us and set the place on fire," Petit lashed out to reporters. "but you can't be held in a cell with the lights on? "
Police allege that Hayes, 47 and Joshua Komisarjevsky, 29, broke into the Petits' home in the early hours of July 23, 2007, tied up and beat Petit, tied up Michaela and Hayley, and sexually assaulted the youngest before setting the house on fire.
A judge has ordered a hearing on Hayes' complaints, putting the murder trial on hold.
"That's a little difficult to process in your brain, that somehow there is some comparison to what both of these guys have done, to what the state may be doing," Petit said.
Petit said he is "totally frustrated," but legal experts say taking Hayes' complaints seriously will only help to ensure that any possible conviction is upheld.
"If this case can be challenged later on as appeal because Haynes was treated in an inhumane fashion, then the victims' rights aren't really being protected because it just delays this process," Connecticut criminal defense attorney Rich Meehan told ABC News.
Hayes was put into a medically induced coma after the apparent suicide attempt less than a month ago.
A hospital orderly described the scene as chaotic with "police everywhere." Hayes apparently stockpiled his daily pills and then overdosed.
Hayes' attorney last summer called him "suicidal," leaving many people to wonder how a prisoner awaiting trial for Connecticut's most high-profile killing could have overdosed.
Even before the trial was halted, intense media attention was made jury selection and retention difficult. Hayes was released from the hospital and sent to the isolation cell earlier this month.