Update Spader has been convicted to life in prison , however no juggalo websites are reporting this issue .
NASHUA – In shocking testimony this afternoon, William Marks today described how he stood just inside the bedroom where a Mont Vernon mother and daughter were sleeping and watched as juggalo Steven Spader hacked them with a machete while Christopher A. Gribble stabbed and slashed with a knife.
Marks, 19, of Amherst, told Hillsborough County Superior Court jurors how Spader raised the machete with two hands and swung it like a baseball bat while the child begged for mercy and the mother tried to reassure her daughter.
Spader, 18, of Brookline, went to the right side of the bed while Gribble went to the left during the attack in which Kimberly L. Cates, 42, was killed and her daughter, Jaimie, then 11, was gravely wounded, Marks said.
“It started out ‘Jaimie is that you?” Marks testified against Spader, 18, as part of a plea deal with the state.
“Steven Spader started hitting the bed with the machete and they were saying, ‘You don’t have to do this. Please stop. And then, ‘Everything is going to be okay’,” said Marks, dressed in orange pants and shirt from Hillsborough County jail where he has been held for the last 13 months.
Marks emphatically told jurors he did not harm the mother or daughter, but admitted he rummaged through dresser drawers and jewelry boxes for things to steal.
He also admitted he and Spader picked out the Trow Road house to rob weeks earlier, that he gave Gribble directions on how to get there the night of the murder and did nothing to stop Spader and Gribble.
Marks admitted he initially lied several times to police.
But Marks said only Spader and Gribble, who allegedly was armed with a knife, participated in the attack.
Marks was indicted last winter on accomplice to first-degree murder, accomplice to first-degree assault and murder and burglary conspiracy charges.
As part of his plea deal, the state dropped the most serious accomplice to murder charge. He will plead guilty to the three other charges in exchange for a 30- to 60-year prison sentence.
David J. Cates, 46, who was Kimberly’s husband, sat with family members in the front row of the courtroom during Marks testimony. Kimberly’s mother cried. Many jurors leaned forward and listened in intense silence.
Spader looked straight ahead at his former friend during Marks’ two hours of direct testimony.Marks said he initially tried to dissuade Spader from carrying out his plans to randomly kill and rob people, but agreed after receiving multiple text message from Spader telling him to get ready.
Two of the three men Steven Spader allegedly led in his apparent thrill kill conspiracy also bragged about killing prior to joining him in the deadly Mont Vernon home invasion, a lead investigator testified Tuesday.
Glover, 18, not only claimed to have killed before, but also was interested in Charles Manson, the Zodiac Killer and the “horrorcore” juggalo culture popular among followers of Insane Clown Posse hardcore hip hop band, State Police Det. Sgt. James Geraghty testified in Hillsborough County Superior Court.
Marks,19, also told investigators that he had a knife and an ax in his hand on the night of the Oct. 4, 2009, attack and robbery and said “he wanted to bury (the ax) in somebody’s head,” Geraghty said under cross-examination by Spader’s defense attorney Jonathan Cohen.
Both Marks and Glover – then Souhegan High School seniors from Amherst – struck plea deals with the state in which they agreed to testify against Spader in exchange for reduced sentences.
Cohen pressed further, asking the detective why no one had tested the ax and hatchet recovered from accused killer Christopher Gribble’s car, or the samurai sword Glover kept hidden beneath his mattress for blood, fingerprints or other physical evidence.
While an interest in serial killers and killing would make Marks and Glover “perfect” friends for Spader, all the witness testimony shows only Spader and Christopher A. Gribble, 21, participated in the attack and only a machete and knife were used, Geraghty said.
“Everone told us they were attacked with a machete and a knife,” Geraghty said when questioned by Senior Assistant Attorney General Jeffery A. Strelzin.
Even Spader, in letters he allegedly wrote from jail detailing the crime that police obtained, admitted only a machete and knife were used to kill Kimberly L. Cates, 42, and severely wound her daughter, Jaimie, then 11, the detective said.
In those letters, Spader never mentioned Glover or Marks did anything to harm the mother and daughter, Geraghty said.
NASHUA – A State Police detective testified Monday he recovered a torn red sweatshirt with “This is Steve’s sweatshirt — Steve who is awesome” written on it and a pair of white socks with “C. Gribble” printed on them from the Nashua River in Hollis.
Trooper 1st Class Steven Tarr said Autumn Savoy, 21, of Hollis, led him to the spot on the river where Savoy said he helped the two alleged Mont Vernon killers toss evidence more than a day earlier.
Tarr said Savoy pointed out the partially submerged black plastic trash bag with red ties, which still had not sunk, even though Savoy said he threw it in the water just hours after the predawn Oct. 4, 2009, home invasion and robbery. The bag had water in it and the items inside were wet, Tarr said.
Floating near it were a wooden jewelry box, a shoe and a man’s wallet that held military-style dog tags and multiple pieces of identification belonging to David J. Cates, the detective told Hillsborough County Superior Court jurors as the first-degree murder trial of Steven Spader entered its second week.
►Timeline of the case against Steven Spader
►Archive of prior coverage of the Mont Vernon murder
Spader, 18, and one of his alleged accomplices, Christopher A. Gribble, 21, both of Brookline, each are charged with first-degree murder, attempted murder and related charges. Spader allegedly used a machete and Gribble a knife to murder Kimberly L. Cates, 42, and severely wound her daughter, Jaimie, then 11, in the bedside ambush.
Spader, who appeared in court yesterday with his “skinhead” hair style freshly trimmed, pleaded not guilty to the crimes. Gribble also pleaded not guilty and stands trial Feb. 22.
Spader is accused of leading Gribble and accomplices Quinn Glover, 18, and William Marks, 19, both of Amherst, on the apparent thrill kill home invasion at 4 Trow Road, Mont Vernon.
Glover and Savoy, who already pleaded guilty and reached cooperation agreements with the state, testified last week against Spader. Marks, who also has a plea deal with the state, is expected to testify today. He will be the last co-defendant to take the stand.
Little DNA evidence
Nov. 2, 2010 spader1 375px (AP)
Emily Rice, a criminalist with the state forensic lab, holds a machete alleged to be the murder weapon during testimony Monday. (AP)
Four pairs each of gloves and shoes, two pairs of pants and a pair of dark thermal long underwear, a bandanna and two side screens from a window air conditioning unit also were among items inside the bag, Tarr testified. Two wooden jewelry boxes also were recovered, he said.
The detective’s testimony was consistent with Savoy’s account that he helped Spader and Gribble toss in the river a black trash bag filled with the clothing, shoes and other items the alleged killers said they and their two cohorts either wore during the home invasion or stole from the house.
Glover also testified Spader gave him a torn red sweatshirt with black markings and lettering on it to wear before the home invasion.
A forensic expert said she did blood and DNA analyses on all items from the river and items recovered from other locations. Since very little usable DNA was recovered, criminalist Kimberly Rumrill said she could not make any positive identifications.
While there was a “significant amount of blood” in the house, the knife and sheath and machete allegedly used in the attack had neither fingerprints nor blood on them, according to Rumrill and fingerprint expert Emily Rice, both criminalists with the State Police forensic laboratory.
But Rumrill said the interior of the machete sheath revealed a “weak positive result for the presence of blood.” Rumrill said the lack of forensic evidence could be due to exposure to water, dirt and cleaning agents.
20 items tested
Of the items recovered from the Nashua River, two of the four pairs of gloves tested positive for blood, as did a Burger King bag and gray-hooded sweatshirt with “Army” written on it, Rumrill said. Gloves that tested positive for the weak presence of blood were a green knit pair and one of the two black pairs, she said.
Rumrill said she tested about 20 items for DNA, but could only obtain partial profiles on five of them — all of which excluded Spader.
Partial profiles of a pair of thermal pants and green knit gloves recovered from the river excluded Spader, Glover and Marks, but could not exclude Gribble, she said.
A partial DNA profile from a blue bandanna could not exclude Glover, but excluded the other three, she said. And a partial profile of one of the pairs of black gloves excluded all but Marks, she said. Neither this glove nor the bandanna tested positive for blood, she said.
No fingerprints matching those of the co-defendants were found in the Cates house, on the alleged murder weapons or any other items recovered from the home, Rice testified.
Tire tracks tested
Timothy Jackson, an expert in tire track analysis, said tire tracks left just south of 11 Trow Road and near the boat ramp to the Nashua River in Hollis “could have been made” by tires on Gribble’s 1995 Oldsmobile sedan. He said he also lifted a footprint from an end table in the Cates’ basement that matched a Reebok athletic shoe.
David Cates, who was Kimberly’s husband and is Jaimie’s father, sat in the front row of the courtroom with other family members, as they have since the trial began. He and several others wore a light blue ribbon.
State Attorney General Michael A. Delaney also sat in for a portion of Monday’s testimony.
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