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Chapel Hill woman sends message to sister's killer

Posted December 2, 2010

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— A Chapel Hill woman sent a video message to the man convicted of murdering her sister and two nieces in a Connecticut home invasion. 

"I hate that it took my sister and her daughters to pay with their lives to stop you in your tracks," Cindy Hawke-Renn said. "Every time I so much as see the word 'sister' written, I swallow past the hard lump in my throat." 

Hawke-Renn's sister Jennifer Hawke-Petit was killed in the July 2007 home invasion.

Steven Hayes, one of the men accused in the crime, was sentenced to death in November. 

Authorities said Hayes and Joshua Komisarjevsky broke into the family’s house, beat Dr. William Petit and forced his wife to withdraw money from a bank while the rest of her family remained under hostage at home. Hayes then sexually assaulted and strangled her, authorities said.

Komisarjevsky is charged with sexually assaulting their 11-year-old daughter, Michaela. He has blamed Hayes for escalating the crime.

Michaela and her 17-year-old sister, Hayley, were tied to their beds and had gasoline poured on or around them before the men set the house on fire, according to testimony. The girls died of smoke inhalation.

Petit was able to escape.

Judge Jon Blue imposed the sentence on Thursday. 

"This is a terrible sentence, but is, in truth, a sentence you wrote for yourself in flames," Blue said.

Komisarjevsky's trial is expected to start next year.

24 Comments

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  • liccyann Dec 3, 2010

    LIFE IN PRISON THEY COULD ESCAPE OR THE LAWS COULD CHANGE AND THEY CAN BE RELEASED. LOOK AT ALL THE RAPISTS AND MURDERERS THEY ARE LETTING OUT NOW. FOR EXAMPLE JUST GOT OUT OF PRISON KILLED HIS BROTHER AND GOT OUT AFTER 10 YEARS OF PRISON BEAT HIS GIRLFRIEND TO DEATH IN FRONT OF HER KIDS AND THEN SHOT HER 5 TIMES WHILE SHE WAS DEAD. LIFE IN PRISON IS NOTHING. THEY HAVE CABLE AND INTERNET. THEIR PRISON YARDS ARE BETTER THAN THE YMCA. PRISON IS NOT PUNISHMENT.

  • spidermunkee Dec 3, 2010

    Oddly enough, I am both anti & pro death penalty. Depending on the circumstances surrounding the crime. In this case, however, the death penalty was the right thing for them. No disrespect "wildcat" but those three that died that day were not given a choice. The men got what they wanted (money etc.) but that wasn't enough, they had to savagely torture them and in one last strike of hate, kill them. If it had been your family, would a life sentence be enough for you? They get three hots and a cot forever. They also get rescess(yard time) can have a tv in their room. All life in prison does for a person like that is give them the necessities of life without having to work for them. Do you think they have to worry about where their next meal is coming from, if they can pay their electricity bill or should they buy their medicines they need instead of paying their mortgage? Nope, it's all wrapped up in a box with a pretty little black and white striped ribbon on it.

  • wildcat Dec 3, 2010

    I WOULD LOVE TO SEE HER VIDEO. POSSIBLE?

  • wildcat Dec 3, 2010

    100% FOR THE DEATH PENILTY.
    rcrdngcountry

    I am against the death penalty (watch your spelling :) ) I AM FOR LIFE IN PRISONS WITHOUT HAVING PAROLE EVER.

  • wildcat Dec 3, 2010

    Since the man has been convicted of his crime with the death penalty, I personally see no reason why WRAL needs to continue to bring this story. Its over. Anything else is nothing short of repeats. Thanks

  • rcrdngcountry Dec 3, 2010

    they know he is guilty, got the death penalty, so they should
    carry it out within 30 days, not 20 years. our laws have to get
    stronger, it order to slow down the murder like this. by the way,sanfordwallace, you are trying to be cute and funny, but
    buddy you are on the wrong page. NOTHING TO JOKE ABOUT HERE, I
    AM SERIOUS AND AND A FIGHTER, 100% FOR THE DEATH PENILTY.

  • wildcat Dec 3, 2010

    he deserves (death penalty).

    Then explain why this woman cannot be satisfied with even that?

  • wildcat Dec 3, 2010

    I'm sure it helps the sister with closure by getting things off her chest

    this will not give her closure. She serious help. Once a person dies, that should be closure. You have the memories forever. The man will never watch the video. She wasted her time on that.

  • wildcat Dec 3, 2010

    The courts has made their ruling of sentening this man. He will not ever have a life. She needs to except it an move on. Of course when he dies she still will not be satisfied.

  • wildcat Dec 3, 2010

    When was the last time she talked to her sister, visited, wrote, email, facebook, phone.....if she done none of this prior, why do she continue to complain, unless she feels guilty for not staying in touch. Remember don't put off today for tomorrow for it may be too late.

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