Petit Trial: Accused Killer Confession Relived

Cops says Petit told him the plan was to rob the Connecticut home.

ByABC News
September 13, 2010, 4:59 PM

Sept. 23, 2010 — -- Jurors heard an intimate description for the first time of exactly what happened the day Dr. William Petit's family was killed in its Connecticut home, as told by a police officer who said he took suspect Steven Hayes' 70-minute confession.

Detective Anthony Buglione told the court Wednesday that Hayes said the original plan had been to simply rob the Petit's home in July 2007. In the course of the robbery, however, things spiraled out of control, Buglione said.

Buglione testified that he spoke to the suspect hours after Hayes, 47, and his alleged accomplice, Joshua Komisarjevsky, allegedly doused the Petit's Cheshire, Conn., home in 2007 with gasoline and set it on fire; the Petit family still inside.

William Petit, who had been beaten and tied up in the basement, barely escaped. Hayes smelled of gasoline and gave his confession without emotion, Buglione said.

At one point during the alleged assault, Hayes took Petit's wife, Jennifer Hawke-Petit, to the bank to withdraw money.

While Hayes was out with Hawke-Petit, Buglione said that, according to Hayes, Komisarjevsky was supposed to put the family in the car and then the pair would burn the house down. When Hayes returned, however, Komisarjevsky told him he had already sexually assaulted Michaela Petit, 11, and told Hayes to "square things up" and do the same to Hawke-Petit, which Hayes allegedly did.

One of the suspects also took photos of Michaela on his cell phone during the alleged crime.

The stunning testimony was apparently too much for William Petit to hear. He left the courtroom before a medical examiner was set to testify.

"It was another tough and painful day for the Hawke and Petit families, and I think everybody saw that who listened to the testimony," Petit told reporters later.

Hayes and Komisarjevsky first crossed paths at a halfway house where the two attended Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, police said. Desperate for money, they hatched the plan after a few drinks.