The younger brother of convicted murderer Steven Hayes recounted in a letter read today in court, how the man now facing a death sentence burned him on the stove and held a gun to his head.
"Steven is what Steven is because he is a coward," Matthew Hayes wrote in the letter, which was read by a clerk. "As family of this monster we all have to live with this nightmare."
The jury is in the sentencing phase of the trial for Hayes, convicted of 16 felony counts relating the deaths of Connecticut mother Jennifer Hawke-Petit and her two daughters, Hayley, 17, and Michaela, 11, is winding down.
Closing arguments are expected Friday.
Dr. Eric Goldsmith told the jury today that it was Hayes' co-defendant, Joshua Komisarjevsky, that came up with the idea to rob a house in well-to-do Cheshire, because he'd done it before and that the gruesome turn of events in July 2007 wasn't in the original plan.
Hayes, he said, didn't know ahead of time that the home invasion would involve rape, murder and a fire to destroy the evidence.
And when Hayes worried about the DNA evidence that would be left at the scene, Komisarjevsky allegedly shot back, "fire kills everything," Goldsmith testified.
Hayes' defense has sought from the beginning of the trial to portray Komisarjevsky as the ringleader and Hayes as a hapless follower, in an attempt to spare him the death penalty.
Komisarjevsky, Goldsmith testified, told Hayes during the invasion that he'd already gotten DNA on one of the girls so they'd have to kill them both and urged Hayes to get his hands dirty.
Goldsmith's testimony today also revealed Hayes had sex with Hawke-Petit after he strangled her and that Komisarjevsky told Hayes that Dr. William Petit -- the sole survivor of the home invasion -- had died. Petit had been bound and badly beaten, but managed to escape to a neighbor's house and call for help.
The jury also heard an excerpt from a note Hayes wrote. It was signed "Edicius," or "suicide" written backward.
In the note, Hayes wrote that he wanted to die and though he said was not a monster like his co-defendant, he was a coward.
Goldsmith said Hayes has also been having nightmares of his young son burning.
The psychiatrist said that while Komisarjevsky may be a psychopath, Hayes was not. The doctor said he'd diagnosed Hayes as having adjustment disorder and anti-social personality disorder.
Defense witnesses have accounted for the vast majority of the jury's time in the sentencing phase, now in its second week. The prosecution rested the first day after calling a clerk to read a list of Hayes' convictions.
Last week, Yale University Professor Dr. Paul Amble, who conducted a four-hour evaluation of Hayes earlier this year, testified that the defendant has made multiple attempts to commit suicide while incarcerated, as recently as August of this year.
Amble told the court that Hayes tried to kill himself "several times" prior to the Petit murders, and admitted to wanting to die after the Petit triple murder as well.
"[Hayes] described his persistent desire to die were because of his feelings of guilt, remorse and his condition of confinement," said Amble.