A teenager accused of hacking a New Hampshire mother to death during a home invasion and severely injuring her young daughter wanted to break into houses, kill their occupants and eat the victims, a witness testified Thursday.
Steven Spader, 18, was obsessed with killing people in the weeks before the gruesome attack that ended with the death of Kimberly Cates in the hamlet of Mont Vernon, according to the testimony of Quinn Glover, who was at the scene.
Spader wanted to break into homes, kill the occupants, stay overnight, roast and eat the victims, and stage their bodies for the media, Glover said. He talked at one point about putting the heads of his victims on stakes, he said.
Immediately after the attacks, Spader was "euphoric, excited," Glover said.
"He seemed like he had just gotten off a roller coaster," he said. "He came out with the machete covered in blood and hair."
As Glover testified, Spader stared at him with his fingers pressed in front of him — his standard pose during the four days of the trial so far.
As the lawyers talked to the judge at the bench at one point, Spader loudly cracked his knuckles while staring at Glover, who stared back.
Spader is charged with murder, attempted murder and other felonies in the death of Cates and the injuries to her now 12-year-old daughter, Jaimie, who told police she survived the attack by feigning death.
Glover has pleaded guilty to robbery, burglary and conspiracy. He agreed to cooperate with the state in exchange for a 20-year prison sentence.
Several hours before the attacks, Glover said, Spader had sent him a text message telling him they needed to complete the goals of their brotherhood, the Disciples of Destruction.
Glover said Spader and co-defendants Christopher Gribble and Billy Marks originally targeted the house next door to the Cates home but ruled it out as too big just minutes before the home invasion.
After they broke in, Glover said, the four approached a closed bedroom door with weapons out. He said Spader and Gribble were in the lead, Spader with a machete, Gribble with a knife. Glover said that when the screams started, he turned around and covered his ears. Prosecutor Peter Hinckley asked him why.
"I walked away because I wanted to walk away from the situation," Glover said. "I didn't take anything that was said prior seriously. That was my mistake."
Then the attack began in earnest, he said.
"They were terrified. I heard cries for help, begging, 'no, no,'" Glover testified.
"I heard screams and cries. I heard, 'Jaimie, run! Please don't do it,'" he said.
He said he did not see the attacks but entered the room afterward. He said he saw Jaimie crumpled on the floor, tangled in the curtains covering a sliding glass door. "I thought for sure she was dead," Glover said.
"On the bed there was a woman covered in blood," Glover said. "She was moving somewhat and moaning." He said he saw Gribble put a knife to the right side of her throat. Glover said that he turned away, and that when he looked back, the knife was on the other side of Kimberly Cates' throat.
Defense attorneys have asked questions of other witnesses about a Samurai sword. Glover said that he owns one, but that it was under his mattress in his Amherst home at the time of the attacks.
Glover said he had an open knife with him at the house. At home, he said, he would tuck it inside "the ripped back of my teddy bear."
Marks has agreed to testify against Spader and Gribble, whose trial is slated for February. A fifth defendant, Autumn Savoy, pleaded guilty to hindering the prosecution and conspiracy in exchange for a 5- to 19-year sentence. He is also expected to testify against Spader.
Marks has yet to enter a plea, but the state did drop a first-degree murder charge.