Court documents: Spader may have fathered child before Cates murder
Court documents unsealed in the case of convicted murderer Steven Spader indicate that he may have fathered a child a few months before he hacked a Mont Vernon woman to death and severely wounded her daughter during a 2009 home invasion.
The revelation came in a narrative written by Spader’s mother, Christine Spader, in January and included in court documents for a new sentencing hearing for her son. A judge recently granted a motion by the New Hampshire Union Leader to unseal Spader’s court file.
Spader, who was 17 when he killed Kimberly Cates with a machete in her bedroom and wounded her then-11-year-old daughter Jaimie, was convicted of first-degree murder and is serving life in prison without parole.
A new sentencing hearing was required after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that mandatory sentences of life without parole are unconstitutional for defendants who were under 18 when they committed their crimes.
After an April hearing, a Hillsborough County Superior Court judge imposed the same life sentence on Spader.
In her narrative, Spader’s adoptive mother mentioned her son’s passionate relationship with a high school girlfriend. The girl’s father had gotten a restraining order keeping Spader away from his daughter in February 2009.
But the two ran away together that May; police later found the girl and arrested Spader.
According to the court documents, Spader “found out his girlfriend ... was pregnant” that July. “He did not know how he felt about this,” his mother wrote.
Spader and three friends were arrested on Oct. 5, a day after the machete attack on the Cates. Authorities described Spader as the mastermind, and unsealed documents written by Spader show he thought of himself in the same way.
After her son’s arrest, Spader’s mother wrote, her son’s girlfriend “began emailing us about her pregnancy and said we could be in the baby’s life if we wanted to because Steve could not.”
“A baby girl was born in January and (the child’s mother) brought her to us when she was 5 days old. We all cried.”
Spader had written letters to his girlfriend, but she would not write back, his mother said. “Steve wrote us a letter begging us to see if he could see the baby and he would be the best father in the world. We sent him photos.”
Mrs. Spader wrote that the girl and her baby came to live with the Spaders for two months. “We do not see her much now,” she wrote.
She also wrote that her son believes in God and asked his parents for a cross to wear. “He said that prison was good for him and that he probably would have ended up there for something no matter what we did.”
Neither the Attorney General’s Office nor Spader’s attorneys would confirm that the child mentioned in the January deposition was definitely Spader’s. She would be 3½ years old.
A man who answered the phone at the Spader home hung up when contacted by a reporter Wednesday.