N.H. teen is described as ‘euphoric’ after murder

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By Brian MacQuarrie
Globe Staff / October 29, 2010

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NASHUA — “He was euphoric, excited. He seemed like he had just gotten off a rollercoaster, an adrenaline rush.’’

That chilling description of Steven Spader, a self-styled teenage renegade, was provided yesterday to a rapt courtroom, where a onetime friend who was at the scene described how Spader reacted after he allegedly killed a 42-year-old nurse and maimed her 11-year-old daughter.

“He said that he felt really good and said that he saw the woman reaching over to something, toward a light on the nightstand, and just kept hacking,’’ Quinn Glover, 18, said about the October 2009 attack at a randomly selected home in Mont Vernon. “He joked how she woke up to being hacked to death by a machete.’’

Glover, who has pleaded guilty to lesser charges in the crime, said the 4 a.m. home invasion by four teenagers had been preceded by Spader’s escalating preoccupation with violence.

“It started about a year before, but got progressively worse,’’ Glover testified. “By the week prior, it was a conversation that happened almost every time I saw him.

“He spoke about breaking into houses. And then he spoke generally, fantasizing, about violence, murders, killing people, roasting people, eating people, putting heads on stakes, and making scenes for news crews.’’

And after Kimberly Cates had been killed and Jaimie left for dead, Glover said, Spader joked over and over about how the woman had awakened to such a horrific end.

Glover, of Amherst, recounted the sounds of terror that came from the master bedroom when Spader, then 17, and Christopher Gribble, then 19, allegedly began landing blow after blow with a machete and knife on their victims, who were sharing a room while Kimberly’s husband, David, was out of town on business.

“I heard screams and cries,’’ said Glover, who wore orange prison garb. “I heard . . . ‘Jaimie, run! Please don’t do it! No, please, no!’ ’’

Glover, who said he did not enter the bedroom during the assault, retreated down the hallway and covered his ears to block the cries.

He said that when Spader emerged from the room, he was carrying a bloody machete.

“I didn’t want to believe what was happening,’’ Glover recalled. Later that night, he testified, he entered the bedroom to find a grim scene.

“On the bed, there was a woman who was covered in blood,’’ Glover said. “She was moving slightly and moaning. She seemed close to death.’’ The sounds stopped, he testified, only after Gribble pulled his knife across Kimberly’s throat.

During the third day of testimony in his first-degree murder trial, Spader, of Brookline, N.H., sat nearly motionless. Dressed in a dark blue blazer, he stared directly at Glover, who did not make eye contact, except to identify the defendant.

The violence stunned him, Glover told prosecutor Peter Hinckley. “I didn’t take anything that was said prior seriously. That was my mistake.’’

Later that day, Glover said, he cut open the back of his teddy bear, hid his unused knife, and attended the Sunday meeting of a church youth group.

In addition to church gatherings, Glover testified, he had become one of three charter members of the Disciples of Destruction, a group of teenage rebels formed by Spader shortly before the alleged attack.

The group also included, William Marks, then 18, of Amherst.

Their goals, Glover said, were to make money illegally and swear allegiance to one another.

The credo: “To make a living, not by paying the government, but by our own means,’’ Glover read from the group’s manifesto, given to him by the prosecutor. “As long as you are a Disciple, you shall never feel isolated from your brothers.’’

The group also agreed to abide by this code: “You snitch, you die. No two ways about it.’’

The idea for the Disciples of Destruction, Glover said, came from the “Sons of Anarchy,’’ a television show about outlaw bikers. The randomness of the attack, which Spader and three teenagers chose that night, was an effort to mimic the unpredictability of the serial Zodiac Killer from the 1960s, Glover said.

The story of convicted killer Charles Manson fascinated him, Glover said. “Were you interested in killing?’’ Hinckley asked. “Yes, I was,’’ Glover answered.

For Glover, though, the evening of the attack began with harmless domestic activities. He and Spader attended a high school football game. Before the 15-minute drive to Mont Vernon, Glover said, he watched a few minutes of the movie “Gandhi’’ at his home.

“Do you wish now you had watched a little more of it?’’ asked defense attorney Andrew Winters.

“Yes, sir,’’ Glover replied.

Under questioning by Winters, Glover admitted that he had lied repeatedly to police during questioning shortly after the crime and that he feared he would be charged with murder. Glover agreed to testify for the prosecution in exchange for a 20-year minimum sentence.

Gribble, also of Brookline, N.H., is scheduled to face trial on first-degree murder charges. Marks, another alleged participant in the assault, is scheduled to be tried on murder conspiracy charges and has agreed to testify for the prosecution.

Autumn Savoy, then 19, of Hollis, did not participate in the assault but provided an alibi. He pleaded guilty to lesser charges and has agreed to testify for the prosecution.

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