NASHUA, N.H. (CBS/AP) – Jurors needed less than two hours Tuesday to reach a guilty verdict in one of New Hampshire’s most infamous murders: a mother slain with a machete in her bed; her 11-year-old daughter survived by playing dead.

18-year-old Steven Spader of Brookline, N.H. was convicted of first-degree murder in the killing of Kimberly Cates and attempted murder for the attack on her daughter Jaime in October 2009.

Under New Hampshire law, the first-degree murder conviction carries an automatic sentence of life without parole.

Kimberly Cates’ husband David wiped tears from his eyes as the verdict was read.  Spader showed no emotion.

After David Cates read a victim impact statement, Hillsborough County Superior Court Judge Gillian Abramson told Spader “you belong in a cage” adding that he will “stay in that cage for the rest of your pointless life.”

David Cates addressed the court

Spader also was convicted of other felonies related to the home invasion. He was one of four men who allegedly broke into the Cates’ home in Mont Vernon home last year and the first to go on trial. Co-defendant Christopher Gribble will be tried in February.

WBZ News Radio’s Laurie Kirby and Bernice Corpuz report from the trial


Superior Court Judge Gillian Abramson instructed the jury on the law Tuesday morning before asking them to deliberate the case.

The jury of six men and six women started at about 10:20 a.m. They came back with a verdict at 11:45 a.m. It was read at 1 p.m.

During the two-week trial, defense attorney Jonathan Cohen attacked the credibility of three co-defendants who brokered plea deals and testified against Spader. He suggested they, not Spader, were involved in the attacks.


In the Cates’ hometown of Mont Vernon, neighbors said there was a collective sigh of relief with today’s verdict. Mary Brown watched the verdict on TV. “Thank god. We were all hoping for that,” she said. “We are grateful he won’t be out to harm anyone else.”

Some in the small town feel the punishment just isn’t harsh enough for such a heinous crime.

“Steven Spader, if nothing else, is a poster child for the death penalty,” said Cates family friend John Quinlan. “He’s a totally remorseless, ruthless killer.”

At the bottom of the Cates’ street, flowers have been laid in tribute to family’s strength.

“Were all separated by about two degrees and so when something happens like this everyone’s affected in the community,” said resident Chip Spalding.

Peg Rusconi and Karen Anderson of WBZ-TV and Bernice Corpuz of WBZ News Radio 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.)

Comments (26)
  1. Happy Mcintye says:

    Sweet justice, 1 hour and 25 minutes! I hope he rots from the inside out. Put him to good use, inject him with aids and use him as the (lab) rat that he is.

    1. DaveP says:

      How about a public stoning?

  2. snoopy says:

    It’s too bad now that NH residents will have to pay for his life in jail………….
    DEATH, I SAY!!!!

  3. jay says:

    how about a firing sqaud with out a blind fold?? NOW justice will be served. next week maybe.

  4. Donna says:

    Another animal off the streets, its a shame that the death penalty wasn’t an option!!! He deserves death in the most awfull way possibly

  5. Ron T says:

    I don’t understand why the death penalty wasn’t an option in this most gruesome case! Why is it only an option when a policeman is killed? Her life as well as any other life is just as valuable!!!!

    1. macmum says:

      RonT I so agree. why not put everyone – including the victims and their families out of their misery…pathetic pc world we live in.

      1. Karen R Mangan says:

        i heard only way he can get the death penalty is if it was just plain old murder but he robbed and murder .. which is stupid he still murder someone

  6. Emmit066 says:

    He’s a pretty boy, he’ll become someone’s girlfriend soon. He has shown that he has no respect for human life, he should do hard time. Unfortunately, the system is soft on criminals like him. They probably did away with hard time because it’s not politically correct or some other such nonsense. Make him work turning really big rocks into teeny tiny rocks for the rest of his natural life.

  7. beaches says:

    Although I’m glad about the verdict, I feel so very sad for not only the Cates family but the Spader family too. How disgraced they must feel, it’s so so sad. This world is getting so out of control. I’m not that far away from where this took place and can say it’s not a pleasant feeling.

    1. 1926lady says:

      The shame the Spader family should experience is their apparent failure for embedding good morals to their child. Steven Spader’s bedeviled mind did not first occur when he committed his atrocious crime. His history revealed no doubt would show uncivilized acts that were not addressed by is parents responsibility to guide him into a life any young person not only needs but deserves. As parents that is our promise to God for the gift of a child. I truly feel that some individuals brains are misfigured and it takes parents to deliver that child to those who can and will help with disorders. This can impose “embarrassment” because we don’t want our own to have frailities. Which would any good parent select; the embarrassment of a child needing professional emotional attention or the devastating embarrassment of an unattended mind becoming so disconnected from society that they enjoy murdering.

  8. alanonthego says:

    Someone should take a machete to him and then pour salt all over his wounds before letting him bleed to death.

  9. alanonthego says:

    Yes very painfully and slowly.

  10. Jax Riley says:

    Instead of wasting the taxpayers money on incarceration, why not return the favour and do to him exactly what he did to Mrs. Cates. An eye for an eye…this way he’ll feel the full impact of what he did. This is a case where being drawn and quartered would be well served. They need to bring that back.

  11. Clara says:

    There are some lifers in prison just waiting to show this 19 year old the ropes.
    His life will be so unbearable he will be wanting death.

  12. Michael from NH says:

    He should be used as a human crash test dummy and then be allowed to bleed to death. Then we should harvest his organs to help people who need transplants but make sure they are harvested while he is still alive so that he feels as much pain as possible.

  13. Michael from NH says:

    I hope he has a purty mouth cause where he is going, he will be needing it. Bubba and the rest of the boys are waiting for him. No doubt, he will be needing lube and mouthwash as he will be the toy of the entire block. Enjoy getting herpes and AIDS, my friend.

  14. Fred R says:

    Think how proud his parents must be. “That’s my boy!”

    I hope they enjoy seeing him bloodied and bruised on visiting day. No doubt this story ends after a guard “forgets” to lock his cage one night and one of the Aryans or Crips decide to use his face as a knife sharpener just like what happened to the priest in the MASS prison.

    1. beaches says:

      Why would you want his parents to see such a thing, they have also been through hell, this could happen to any parent, any time, any where. I feel almost as bad for them as I do the Cates family.

  15. Ted, Salem, NH says:

    Good points, Michael fro NH.

    I would pay money to watch his deflowering in the showers as a pay per view event.

  16. bill says:

    I would pay money to watch his deflowering in the showers as a pay per view event.

  17. B. MCKENNA says:


  18. macmum says:

    BMckenna – when you have a family memeber hacked to death…you can come back and let us know how you feel about that..this man/boy is a predator that needs to be kept away from innocent people. If the law in place at the time he did this requires death, he knew that and still did what he did…let him reap what he sows and don’t judge everyone else for thinking that is appropriate.

  19. JW says:

    They should put him in a room with the father, and give him a machette, what jury would convict him. I wouldn’t!

  20. lorrie says:

    Maybe they should put him in general population and let it be known he is the one who murdered the mother and attempted murder of her daughter and let the inmates take care of the details — do you think they would do it quickly or nice and slow to make him suffer.

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