NASHUA, N.H. (CBS) – A jury quickly found 21-year-old Christopher Gribble guilty of murder Friday in the Mont Vernon home invasion in 2009 that left a mother dead and her daughter severely wounded.

Judge Gillian Abramson sentenced him to life in prison without parole, which is automatic in first-degree murder cases.

She also scolded him, saying “infinity is not enough jail time for you.”

WBZ-TV’s Jim Armstrong reports from Nashua

Gribble had admitted to killing Kimberly Cates and nearly killing her 11-year-old daughter Jaimie.  The jury was deciding whether Gribble was insane at the time he committed the murder.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Mark Katic reports

He was also convicted of attempted murder, conspiracy to commit murder, conspiracy to commit burglary and tampering with witnesses.

Gribble had no reaction as the verdict was read.

After a 15-minute break, he returned to the courtroom in an orange prison jumpsuit for sentencing.

Cates’ husband David then read an emotional victim impact statement before the judge handed down the sentence.

Jaimie Cates and her father, David Cates, sit in Hillsborough County Superior Court, after the sentencing of Christopher Gribble. (AP Photo/Don Himsel, Pool)

“This verdict is not justice,” David Cates said.  “But I can only hope that justice will find you very soon.”

Cates then called Gribble a “worthless coward” and blasted him for all the pain he has caused his daughter Jaimie, who Cates said will “ache” for the rest of her life because of what happened to her and her mother.

After the sentencing, the judge told Jaimie Cates, who appeared in the courtroom for the first time Friday, “this man and the other men involved in this terrible crime can never hurt you again.”

Outside of court, Mont Vernon’s police chief spoke about the verdict. He said he believes it was the appropriate outcome, but acknowledged things in his town will never be the same. “The sense of safety and security the community had… has been irreparably damaged,” Chief Kyle Aspinwall told WBZ NewsRadio 1030.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Bernice Corpuz reports

The panel got the case Thursday afternoon and deliberated for about two hours.

They returned to the courtroom Friday with a verdict just after 9 a.m.  All of them left without talking to reporters.

In closing arguments, Assistant Attorney General Peter Hinckley emphasized that Gribble was sane because he plotted, chose the weapons and knew to hide evidence and to initially lie about his involvement.

Defense attorney Donna Brown reminded the jury that even depression is grounds to find Gribble legally insane at the time of the crime.

She portrayed Gribble as an abused child who suppressed urges to kill until he fell in with his accomplice, Steven Spader.

Comments (40)
  1. Petetm says:

    He thinks he was abused as a child, wait until he gets to prison.

    1. Brett says:

      HAHA that comment deserves a beer

  2. jeffsmom says:

    Thankyou jurors of New Hampshire- you made the correct choice. to this day when i drive anywhere near that area i mourn for the family of Kimberly Cates

  3. jaygee says:

    What these cowards did to this mother and daughter was beyond “cruel & unusual”. Life in prison is certainly no bargain but in this case they should have the same feeling that their victims did just before they were attacked. I would even volunteer as executioner for free.

  4. Wizard says:

    DEATH to Gribble!!!

  5. Willow says:

    I’m so sick of criminals using the, “I was abused as a child,” excuse to try to get away with murder. This kid is insane, plain and simple, and so were his accomplices. I say good riddance. Lock him up and throw away the key. That little girl who clung to life will live with this horror her entire life. Now that’s what I call child abuse!!

  6. Joe says:

    This guy looks like Jack Skellington, one of the characters from Nightmare Before Christmas. He needs to receive the same fate in prison, macheted to death.

  7. emom says:

    To use the words INSANE and ABUSED is a nobrainer, how ever why would that even get themn out of jail., One would have to be insane to commit murder but you still knew what you were doing, so the insanity plea is not just. He planned and commited the crime. INSANE really what a pathetic SOB and yeah he is going to be someones bunk mat for sure, I fell they are going to fight for him,,,,, GOOD LUCKY BUDDY

  8. cynic says:

    its nice that this case wasnt heard in mass because they would have just given him a slap on the wrist and he would be out of prison in a month or two

    1. petem says:

      Really? Are you out of you tiny mind? This case would have ignited the drive for the death penalty here you clown. There are progressives like me in MA that don’t fit the stereotype what you’ve been taught by Fox and Frank Luntz , in fact that stereotype really only exists in the minds of people like that ilk, and is only designed to stir up folks who don’t use their minds for actual information gathering.

      1. cynic says:

        Really? are YOU out of your tiny mind? lets look at the facts or should I just mention the name Dominic Cinelli, remember him? He was serving three life sentences but was released only to kill a woburn police officer just this past December! Or how about Edward Corliss, another MURDERER serving a life sentence that was released and allow to kill again. How about this fact 42% of those serving life sentences were allowed to be set free the very first time they asked!

      2. BLACKBEAR1 says:


      3. cynic says:

        Petem Im assuming that you were hoping this case would have been a push for the death penalty, and if you were I do agree with you. I think it would be great to have and there are lots of criminals here in mass that deserve it, but i don’t see it happening here anytime soon unfortunately. I think if there was ever going to be a push for it in mass it would have been last year when the three teenagers brutally killed the pizza drive in south Boston i think it was for some pizza and like 20 dollars. I really just think the Massachusetts justice system is a joke right now and I wish it was more harsh or at least stuck with their punishments but as I stated on the second post the facts show that their is a severe lack of accountability in this state

  9. Willow says:

    Cynic, Good point!!

  10. Petmom says:

    The jury made the right decision. All we can hope for now is a bit of “prison justice”…

  11. Wizard says:

    So what was the SENTENCE then??
    Dammit ‘BZ, can you put the relevant deets in your story???

    1. Go4Gold says:

      Read the second sentence.

      ‘Judge Gillian Abramson sentenced him to life in prison without parole, which is automatic in first-degree murder cases.”

  12. Elllbee says:


    READ IT BEFORE YOU ASK SILLY QUESTIONS!!!!! It says he got life in jail WITHOUT the possibility of parole.

  13. Taxes says:

    He should have gotten the Death Penalty. Now we have to pay for him to live in prison. I hope he is killed very quicly there, I do not work hard to have my taxes taken out just to support this sick and twisted killer.

  14. Divider says:

    Hey Gribbly..hope mom and dad bring you some tucks pads and ointments during their visits…you’re gonna need them you worthless POS…I hope you get traded daily for a pack of cigarettes..

  15. Willow says:

    Taxes, unfortunately, the taxpayers support all the prisons with others the likes of him. The prison population wouldn’t be so overcrowded if they would instate the death penatly, and then enforce it. Soft on crime, yes we are!!

  16. Taxes says:

    Willow, I have said it before and I will say it again. If you are found guilty of murder and are 100% GUILTY, as soon as the verdit is read its off to the executioner. That would solve a lot of over crowding.

  17. emom says:

    The look of that SOB says alot, he is possing for the cameras, trying to seem unstable, YEAH right thank god nobody bought his testimony, So glad he hung himself with all he said, He does not deserve life, that is way to good for him… However while he is is the PINK PALACE he will be having plenty of visitors.. Forget the tucks and ointment, they wont help him one bit.. He just might become the kind of broom If you know what I mean..
    On another note seeing The family there was wonderful, She may have scars both physicaly and emotionally but to hear what the judge had to say, was the best medice that little girl and her father could have recieved . May god be there for them always

  18. Linnea Nelson says:

    I feel the verdict was correct,There isn’t enough jail time for a crime such as this.

  19. linnea nelson says:

    The people who did this crime should never be returned to society.

  20. alanonthego says:

    The best punishment for him and his friends that did this crime is to have a machete used on them, slowly and very painfully till they die.

  21. emom says:

    No not till they die, first pour salt and rubbing alchohol on the wounds make the suffer, then let him suffer a slow death,,,,,

  22. dan says:


  23. Cynic says:

    Luckily he in New Hampsire. If he were In Mass he would sue for the Civil Right to “Marry” his cellmate and Win.

  24. tmcn says:

    To the Gribble parents: Great job! Where were YOU when YOUR SON was out murdering and terrorizing? I’D PUT YOU BOTH ON TRIAL TOO!!!

  25. Todd says:

    He should be strung up and stoned for a week to inflict as much pain as possible before he is aloud to die!!

  26. M. marcia says:

    Life in prison, without possibility of parole. Really? They need the death penalty! I read that most of the time a ‘lifer’ costs less than ‘death row’ – because of mandatory appeals. NH is the “Live Free or Die” state – c’mon NH-ites – do something about it!

  27. Rob says:

    Anyone who commits a crime like this is definately “sick”, especially for someone this youing. He has shown no remorse, even today when he was sentenced to life in prison, so you just know he is not “wired” right.

    He has committed a heinous act on society and MIUST pay for his actions. However where was his support systen when he was going so very worng?

  28. paul says:

    Thank God, common sense and descency has prevailed in this horrific case. Common sense in that this animal is quilty beyond any reasonable doubt; and descensy that this poor family has some sort of closure. God Bless that precious daughter after all she has been through and also the husband–dad that had to sit through this nightmare; and did so with such strength and class.

  29. petem says:

    Blackbear1 – my reference to ‘people of that ilk was to those, who for the better part of the last 30 years spend 24/7 telling their audience that anyone that anyone called a progressive is x or a liberal is y. They have no interest in honest debate or discussion, theirs is only a method to poison the political scene and the attitudes of the people listening. You may be surprised that in the past I have voted for both Republican and Democratic candidates and did so at a time when we were able to hear more honestly what each had to say about the ISSUES, rather than spending most of the time denigrating the opposition. This is what I miss most about the way that politics and public policy were debated in the past. The introduction of the cable ‘news’ channels has done more to destroy the conversation than help it. Taking the public service aspect out of delivering news and information and focusing solely on the drama of issues or of the personalities has been the most disappointing and ultimately the most destructive aspect. I am glad to have a conversation with someone about the facts of an issue, but when I try, I get nonsense about ‘the anointed one’ or the fact that all democrats do is spend too much money, etc, etc, etc… AS someone said ‘we are all entitled to our own opinions, we are not entitled to our own facts’. This is what we should be debating, not these nonsense things like cynic wrote ‘its nice that this case wasn’t heard in mass because they would have just given him a slap on the wrist and he would be out of prison in a month or two’. This is a case that would have enraged everyone with a pulse in MA, and he wouldn’t have walked. Ever. Enough said.

  30. manowx says:

    Planning is pre-meditation yet I still don’t understand why pre-meditation is proof of sanity. Of course, if pre-meditation were not deemed an element of sanity, there would be many killers getting off realatively lightly.

    The judge was an idiot to make such a remark. Gribble is a demented, pathetic individual incapable of appreciating right from wrong. He should be euthanized.

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