Machete Murderer Convicted
It's the murder trial with echoes of the horrific Petit case.
Two men accused of committing a savage home invasion.
The victims: a mother and her daughter. The scene of the crime: a handsome suburban home.
Just like in the Petit case, the savagery is appalling.
Authorities said Steven Spader and his accomplice hacked nurse Kimberly Cates to death in her own bed with a machete and knife and maimed her 11-year-old daughter Jamie, who survived by playing dead.
"It was brutal, it was painful, it was relentless," the Prosecutor explained during court.
The deadly home invasion happened in the unlikeliest of places, down a dirt road in a small New Hampshire town. A makeshift memorial to the family still sits at the corner. Court testimony shows that the house was randomly chosen. But Spader's own twisted writings show that the violence that followed was premeditated.
The lead prosecutor read from a letter written by Spader saying:
We formed a pact. We would find a house, then torture the residents, and eventually kill every member of the family.
"Kimberly Cates suffered through dozens of wounds, prior to dying," said Northeastern University Criminology Professor James Alan Fox.
Spader's family was grim faced as they left court yesterday.
"We love our son and God loves our son too," said family members.
But jurors took less than two hours to bring in guilty verdicts on murder and attempted murder charges Tuesday, which happens to be Spader's 19th birthday.
"You are sentenced to imprisonment for the rest of your life and you shall not be eligible for parole. I could go on for days and days and days about the depth of your depravity but it's sufficient to say that you belong in a cage," the Judge said as she read the verdict.
Meanwhile three of the jurors in the Petit case gave their read on convicted murderer Steven Hayes, who they just recommended for the death penalty.
"He never changed his expression during the whole trial, not once," said one juror.
"He was a shell of a man," explained another.