CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — A man who hid evidence and concocted an alibi for his friends after they killed a woman and maimed her daughter during a home invasion was granted parole Tuesday.
Autumn Savoy, 25, admitted helping Steven Spader and Christopher Gribble dump bloody clothing in the Nashua River on Oct. 4, 2009, just hours after Kimberly Cates was hacked to death and 11-year-old Jaimie Cates was gravely injured at their Mont Vernon home. Savoy also provided an alibi, initially telling investigators they had spent the night at his Hollis home.
Spader and Gribble were convicted of murder and sentenced to life without parole. Savoy pleaded guilty to conspiracy and hindering apprehension and was sentenced to five to 12 years in prison. At a hearing in September, the state parole board told him he needed to prepare a better plan following his release. On Tuesday, board members said they were satisfied with his plan to live with his parents and work two jobs at restaurants at the Mall of New Hampshire.
“You will be under intense scrutiny. We expect you to toe the line,” board member Barbara Maloney told him.
“I will do my best,” said Savoy, adding that he would keep to himself despite what another parole board member called his “fame.”
“That’s just another reason to do everything by the book. It pushes me to be exemplary,” he said.
Christopher Lussier, a friend of the Cates family, said after the hearing that he doesn’t forgive Savoy but hopes he succeeds in life.
“You have been given a piece of freedom. Do something with it. Be productive. Make it count,” he said.
He also noted that both Jaimie Cates and her father, David, chose not to attend the hearing. Instead, they are focused on moving forward — Jaimie, who lost a portion of a foot in the attack, attended her junior prom last weekend and is looking at colleges; both are active in raising money for a scholarship fund in Kimberly Cates’ memory.
“Why should they be here?” he said. “They are two extraordinary people doing ordinary things. … They’re building relationships. They’re living their lives.”
Savoy told the board in September that he knew Spader and Gribble were plotting a burglary, not a killing spree, and his mother said Spader and Gribble threatened to kill her son and his family if he told anyone what they had done.
On Tuesday, Savoy said he realizes now that his problems “came from drugs.” He said he no longer has a drug problem but asked that his parole conditions include an evaluation to determine if he needs drug abuse counseling.
Savoy has been living in transitional housing. His exact release date is unknown. It typically takes about 60 days to process a parole plan.
Two other men convicted in the home invasion — William Marks and Quinn Glover— entered the family’s residence but didn’t attack them. Glover is eligible for parole in 2017. Marks is eligible in 2024.
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