New Haven, Conn. (WTNH) - The jury that is hearing the case against Cheshire home invasion suspect Steven Hayes sifted through more horrific evidence as the medical examiner testified Thursday.
Dr. Wayne Carver, the state's chief medical examiner, began his testimony Wednesday afternoon and finished up Thursday morning. He described the death's of Michaela and Hayley Petit while the jury looked at their autopsy photos.
Dr. William Petit decided not to sit through the graphic testimony, though he has been at court for nearly every pre-trial hearing and all six days of the trial.
Dr. Carver explained how 11-year old Michaela and 17-year old Hayley died painful deaths from smoke inhalation after Hayes and the second suspect, Joshua Komisarjevsky, allegedly set their Cheshire house on fire. Jennifer Petit was strangled to death.
Dr. Carver said that the evidence showed that Michaela was sodomized, allegedly by Komisarjevsky, and died in the fire while tied to her bed. Hayley, 17, who was also tied to her bed, somehow got loose but only made it to the top of the stairs before she collapsed face down in the flames.
Other members of the victims' family that remained in the court during Dr. Carver's testimony appeared visibly shaken.
The second witness called on Thursday was John Farnham, a former employee with the state's forensic lab who examined Hayes' and Komisarjevsky's cell phones. He testified that Komisarjevsky's cell phone contained sexual images of Michaela and Hayley while they were still alive.
After the lunch recess, Dr. Susan Williams, the medical examiner that performed the autopsy on Mrs. Petit, took the stand. Dr. Williams explained that the cause of death was strangulation as photos of her fractured larynx were displayed in the courtroom. She also said that Mrs. Petit was burned beyond recognition and that they had to use dental records to positively identify her. The rape kit was also submitted evidence. Hayes told a detective, who testified yesterday, that he raped Mrs. Petit.
Dr. Petit again decided to step out of the courtroom during Dr. Williams' testimony; her parents and her sister stayed for the testimony.
Follow @News8Now on Twitter for the latest updates from inside the courtroom.
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