updated 10/05/2010 AT 1:15 PM ET
•originally published 10/05/2010 AT 1:20 PM ET
After only a few hours of deliberation, a Connecticut jury found Steven Hayes, a former parolee with a long history as a petty criminal, guilty of killing Dr. William Petit Jr’s. wife and two daughters in a 2007 home invasion.
The verdict capped four weeks of testimony, much of it centered around descriptions and photographs of how the Petit women died. The testimony and evidence were so graphic that family members had to leave the courtroom.
Outside the courthouse after the verdict was read Dr. Petit told reporters he feels “some relief.” But he added, “My family is still gone. It doesn’t bring them back. It doesn’t bring back the home that we had but certainly a guilty verdict is a better sense of relief than a verdict of not guilty.”
Hayes was found guilty on 16 out of 17 counts: The only charge he was found not guilty of was arson, reports the New Haven Register. Of those crimes for which he was found guilty, six make him eligible for the death penalty.