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Husband Takes Stand In NH Mother Murder Trial

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Assistant Attorney General Peter Hinckley displays a photograph of the Cates family while reaching for a machette allegedly used to kill Kimberly Cates and severely injure her daughter. (AP Photo/Bob Hammerstrom, Pool)

Assistant Attorney General Peter Hinckley displays a photograph of the Cates family while reaching for a machette allegedly used to kill Kimberly Cates and severely injure her daughter. (AP Photo/Bob Hammerstrom, Pool)

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NASHUA, N.H. (CBS/AP) –  The man whose wife was hacked to death and daughter maimed in a New Hampshire home invasion testified Tuesday in the first murder trial in the case.

David Cates, an engineer, was in Maryland on business when his wife and daughter were attacked on Oct. 4, 2009. “I got a phone call from state troopers Sunday morning. (I) immediately changed my flight and came home,” he told the court.

Cates said he used to travel for work about 26 times a year before the home invasion. Now he does not travel because his daughter, who is now 12-years-old, needs him to be home and that he needs to be with her.

Cates said he and his wife, Kimberly, were married in 1997.  Jaimie is their only child.  He told the court she was very close with her mother.“They spent an awful lot of time together, just being a mom and daughter.”

His voice broke with emotion when he was asked to identify pictures of his wife and daughter.  He was also shown items that were stolen from his home the night of attack – jewelry boxes, a necklace and his old wallet. “That’s Kim’s jewelry box. Jamie and I got it for Mother’s Day.”

The prosecutor also asked him if he had given murder defendant Steven Spader permission to be in the Cates home that night.  David Cates said no.

Spader alternately looked at Cates and paperwork with his lawyers during the testimony, which was brief.

The defense did not ask any questions.

WBZ’s Peg Rusconi contributed to this report.

(TM and © Copyright 2010 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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