Convicted murderer Joel Hayden, who shot and killed the mother of his children, and a childhood friend, while his eldest son watched in 2011, has lost his bid to regain parental rights of the children.

Hayden, 33, had filed an appeal to the Maine Supreme Judicial Court seeking to regain parental rights while he serves two life sentences at the Maine State Prison for killing Renee Sandora, with whom he had four young children, and Hayden’s friend Trevor Mills at Sandora’s home in New Gloucester.

The Supreme Judicial Court denied Hayden’s appeal Thursday in a unanimous 5-0 decision, finding that a Cumberland County Probate Court judge had acted correcting in terminating Hayden’s parental rights.

“By inflicting a mortal injury upon the mother in full view of the oldest son and then driving off, the father acted ‘toward’ and failed to protect the oldest son from a ‘profound emotional injury’ in a manner that is heinous and abhorrent to society,” Justice Joseph Jabar wrote in the decision.

Probate Court Judge Joseph Mazziotti had ruled last year that Hayden had “acted in callous disregard” for the well-being of his oldest son, Ja’jai Hayden, who was 7 at the time of the killings, and had failed to protect him by shooting Sandora, 27, point-blank in the head while she stood unarmed in the driveway of her home while the boy stood on the lawn, according to the high court’s ruling.

Hayden had argued in his appeal from prison that he shouldn’t be stripped of his parental rights because he did not physically harm the boy and did not act toward the boy while killing the boy’s mother.

Hayden was found guilty on two counts of murder after a trial in 2012 at the Cumberland County Courthouse in Portland in which his son testified as the most powerful witness against his father.

Hayden also appealed the trial verdicts, seeking to have his convictions reduced to manslaughter because he was “likely loaded” on drugs when he killed Sandora and Mills, 28.

The Supreme Judicial Court previously unanimously rejected Hayden’s appeal of the trial verdict in an opinion issued on Feb. 25, 2014.

The shootings occurred on July 25, 2011, the day Hayden was supposed to move out of the home because Sandora had told him to leave. Mills, who was from Hayden’s hometown of New Bedford, Massachusetts, was there to help him move out, according to testimony at the trial.

A Maine State Police dispatcher testified about the 911 call that Sandora made around 6:41 p.m., after she had already been shot once.

On a recording of the call, Sandora could be heard saying: “My boyfriend just shot me. I am at 322 Bennett Road. He shot his friend, too. I’ve got four kids.”

Later in the call, she could be heard saying to someone: “What, are you going to kill me in front of my kids?”

Shortly after, the call disconnected.

Hayden’s eldest son, Ja’kai, now 10, testified at the trial that he saw Mills “go through the glass” in the door of Sandora’s home, then his father “went outside and he shot my mom.”

Hayden was arrested the day of the shootings after leading police on a high-speed chase that ended when he crashed Mills’ Cadillac DeVille in Lyman.

Both shooting victims died at Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston the next day.

Ja’kai is now being raised by Sandora’s mother and stepfather, Patricia and Mark Gerber, in New Gloucester, along with Sandora and Hayden’s three other children.