Judge to review sentence in Mount Vernon killing
MANCHESTER, N.H. (AP) — One of the men sentenced to life in prison in the killing a Mount Vernon woman in her home more than three years ago will have his sentence reviewed because of a U.S. Supreme Court decision about the automatic sentencing of juveniles to life in prison.
Steven Spader was convicted of first degree murder in the death of Kimberly Cates and maiming of her then-11-year-old daughter in their home.
Last year the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that automatic life sentencing for juvenile offenders is unconstitutional. The April 22 hearing will give Spader’s attorneys a chance to argue for a shorter sentence than life without parole.
‘‘Based on the U.S. Supreme Court decision that came down last year, juveniles can’t be given an automatic life without parole sentence,’’ New Hampshire Senior Assistant Attorney General Jeff Strelzin told WMUR-TV. ((http://bit.ly/XjyUiW) ) ‘‘So what will happen is the judge will actually hear from both sides and determine what sentence, up to life without parole, she'll impose in the case.’’
Spader was 17 at the time of the October 2009 attack. He was given an automatic sentence of life without parole, plus more than 70 years for other crimes.
Information from: WMUR-TV, http://wmur.com