Rank: Lieutenant General
Join Date:Aug 2009
MONT VERNON, N.H. -- Prosecutors said Tuesday that two teens arrested in connection with the death of a Mont Vernon woman used a knife and machete to kill her and seriously injure her daughter.
Steven Spader, Christopher Gribble, William Marks and Quinn Glover were arraigned Tuesday at Milford District Court in connection with the death of Kimberly Cates and injuries to her 11-year-old daughter.
In court, investigators said they believe Spader, 17, drove the other three to the house early Sunday morning with the intent to rob it. Officials said Spader was armed with a machete and Gribble, 19, was armed with a knife.
Spader is accused of hitting Cates with the machete, while Gribble is accused of stabbing her with a knife. Investigators said Spader also struck the girl with the machete.
Senior Assistant Attorney General Will Delker said Cates' home was chosen because it was on an isolated road. He said that Cates was stabbed to death in her bed, while her daughter was seriously injured and had to undergo surgery.
"The homeowner was killed in her bed, and a young child was very, very seriously injured," Delker said. "The information that the state has developed to date is that all four of these defendants were aware before they entered the home that the intent was to kill."
Spader and Gribble were charged with first-degree murder, attempted murder in connection with the attack on the girl, and conspiracy to commit first-degree murder.
Marks, 18, and Glover, 17, were charged with burglary, conspiracy to commit burglary and armed robbery.
The four stood silently during their separate arraignments, speaking only to enter not-guilty pleas to possession of marijuana charges or, in the case of Spader and Marks, to state they would seek a court-appointed lawyer.
No pleas on the felonies were entered for any of the teens, pending a probable cause hearing on Oct. 20. No bail was allowed for Spader and Gribble. The state requested $500,000 cash-only bail for Marks and Glover.
A small crowd was gathered outside as the defendants were led into the court. Some of those gathered shouted that the teens would be damned.
Marks father, James Marks, said he can't believe that his son wanted to kill anyone.
"I think that it was a burglary, that they went there to rob the place, and whatever happened, I don't know, I don't know, I don't know," James Marks said. "All I know is that I know that what they're saying, I have a hard time believing that about my son, that he deliberately went there to kill. I really have a hard time believing that."
An autopsy was performed on Cates by Deputy Chief Medical Examiner Jennie Duval on Monday. Duval determined that the cause of death was multiple sharp injuries to the head, torso, left arm and left leg. She concluded that the death was a homicide.
Investigators said that despite the apparent random nature of the attack, they quickly gathered several tips that led to the arrests.
"In a very general sense, there were some observations that some people made and there was also some information that came forward that led us to these individuals as persons of interest, and as that developed, it resulted in the arrests that ended in these charges there today," said Lt. James White of the New Hampshire State Police.
State police said they spent part of the day in Hollis, where they were collecting additional evidence they said was connected to this case. Investigators did not identify what that location was.
Prosecutors have filed a motion to seal affidavits in the case. They will remain sealed pending further hearings on the matter.
On Tuesday, Glover and William Marks were suspended from Souhegan High School, where they were both students. Extra resource officers were also brought in Tuesday.
School officials in the Brookline/Hollis district said Spader dropped out of school last year and got his degree. Officials believe Gribble was home-schooled because he was not a student in the district.
Residents Stunned By Murder Case
In Mont Vernon, residents already trying to deal with the violent death of a neighbor said they were shocked to learn four teenagers were charged in connection with the case.
Friends of Cates said the part-time nurse at local hospitals was a good person and neighbor in the small, secluded New England town.
"I've lived in Mont Vernon for 40 years, and this is just unbelievable," resident Linda Foster said.
Emotions were still close to the surface as friends and neighbors recalled Cates, a woman they described as outgoing and friendly.
"I don't think you'd find anyone to say anything bad about Kim," said co-worker Monique Dow. "She's awesome, very hard-working, bubbly, always smiley, hard-working girl."
Dow worked with Cates at Southern New Hampshire Medical Center and wanted to be present at the arraignment to catch a glimpse of the accused.
"You're, like, what do these people look like? What are they thinking? How could somebody do something like that?" she said.
Dow said she has been having recurring nightmares focusing on the final minutes of her co-worker since Cates was killed.
These little bastards need nothing less than to be drawn and quartered.
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