'I'm the most sick and twisted person you’ll ever meet': Murderer Steven Spader, who hacked Kimberly Cates to death with machete, 'insults' victim's family with apology

Steven Spader told Kimberly Cates’ family that he doesn’t deserve or expect forgiveness and asked his lawyers not to fight for a reduced sentence

A man convicted of hacking a woman to death with a machete has ‘insulted’ his victim’s family with an apology that also ordered his lawyers not to argue for a reduced sentence.

Steven Spader described himself as “the most sick and twisted person you’ll ever meet”, before going on to apologise for killing Kimberly Cates, who he has admitted striking 36 times in the head and torso with a machete in October 2009 when he was aged 17. The murder took place in Mont Vernon, New Hampshire.

In the letter, read out in court by his lawyers, Steven Spader said: “Through my impulsive actions, I have torn apart families and ruined lives… I am truly sorry for the pain I have caused you. I do not expect forgiveness, nor do I deserve any.”

The apology came at a resentencing hearing on Monday, where Judge Gillian Abramson heard evidence that will help her decide whether to reduce Spader’s mandatory life sentence with no chance of parole.

Spader originally received the sentence after being found guilty of the murder in November 2010.

The US Supreme Court has ruled that the mandatory life sentence constitutes a “cruel and unusual punishment” however, as the crime was committed by somebody under the age of 18.

The 5-4 ruling insisted that the trial judge must weigh the convict’s age, maturity and any mitigating factors before resentencing him.

Spader waived his right to appear in court personally and has reportedly instructed lawyers not to argue for a reduced sentence, saying he did not want to “slip by on some technicality” and insisting he wants to “take responsibility for my actions”.

Kimberly Cates’ 14-year-old daughter Jaimie was in court to hear the apology, along with several other family members.

Jaimie had been present at the time of her mum’s death and was almost killed herself, suffering multiple hack and stab wounds. She was 11-years-old at the time.

Ms Cates’ family refused to accept Spader’s apology, with Prosecutor Jeffery Strelzin saying her father and husband David had found it insulting.

The family declined to address the court or make a comment before they left but a statement issued later by the Kimberly Cates Memorial Scholarship said: “David and Jamie wish only to heal and move forward.”

Prosecutor Strelzin has argued that Spader’s mental state suggests that, far from having his sentence reduced, he should, in fact, never be released.

“He’s a psychopath… it’s not a phase. It’s not something he’s going to grow out of. It’s who he is,” Strelzin said.

Strelzin added that, not only should the mandatory life sentence remain intact, an additional 76 years should be added to it for the attempted murder of Jaimie.

Spader’s lawyers said their client has specifically instructed them not submit any evidence that would reduce his sentence.

At the original trial, the strongest evidence against Spader turned out to be his own words, after he was found to be bragging to cellmates about the graphic details of the murder.

He had reportedly boasted about the amount of blood he’d seen, and also that Ms Cates’ brain had been left exposed and her eyeball ejected from its socket by the ferocity of his blows.

Sentencing Spader at the original 2010 trial Judge Gillian Abramson told him: “you will stay in that cage for the rest of your pointless life”.

Spader was the first of three people to go on trial over the attacks. Co-defendant Christopher Gribble is currently serving a life sentence.

Three other people accepted a plea deal and went on to testify against Spader.

Judge Abramson is expected to resentence Spader on Friday.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Life and Style
A monstrous idea? Body transplants might no longer be science fiction
Science An Italian neurosurgeon believes so - and it's not quite as implausible as it sounds, says Steve Connor
Sport
Demba Ba (right) celebrates after Besiktas win on penalties
footballThere was no happy return to the Ataturk Stadium, where the Reds famously won Champions League
Arts and Entertainment
Natural beauty: Aidan Turner stars in the new series of Poldark
arts + ents
News
Mia Freedman, editorial director of the Mamamia website, reads out a tweet she was sent.
arts + ents
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
The write stuff: masters of story-telling James Joyce, left, and Thomas Hardy
arts + ents...begging to differ, John Walsh can't even begin to number the ways
News
Image from a flyer at the CPAC event where Nigel Farage will be speaking
news
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Bookkeeper

£23000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This small, friendly, proactive...

Recruitment Genius: Photographic Event Crew

£14500 - £22800 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Software Developers - .NET / ASP.NET / WebAPI / JavaScript

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Software Developer is required to join a lea...

Austen Lloyd: Corporate Tax Solicitor - City

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: A first rate opportunity to join a top ranking...

Day In a Page

HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower