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Witness: Defendant excited after NH machete attack

NASHUA, N.H. --A man on trial in a deadly home invasion said he attacked an 11-year-old girl with a machete because he was bored after hacking her mother to death, a friend who helped hide evidence testified Friday.

Steven Spader is on trial for murder and other felony charges in the attacks last year that killed Kimberly Cates and maimed her 11-year-old daughter, Jaimie, at their home in the hamlet of Mont Vernon. Prosecutors say Spader wielded the machete.

Spader's friend Autumn Savoy said in court that Spader and another man, Christopher Gribble, arrived at his home hours after the attacks, and Savoy saw the machete and a bag of clothes the two had worn in the trunk of Spader's car.

Savoy, 21, said Spader was "bouncy and jumping between conversations. He said he had just killed two people. He was very up, excited, on an adrenaline rush."

Savoy said that when news reports said Jaimie Cate had survived, Gribble "was depressed because he really wanted to kill someone." Savoy said he and Spader taunted Gribble about his failure.

A detective who specializes in computer forensics testified Friday that he examined Savoy's computer and verified searches for instructions for making chloroform, a task Savoy said Spader had assigned him before the home invasion.

Savoy said he helped sort jewelry the pair had stolen from the house and then drove with them to the nearby Nashua River. He said he threw the bag of clothing and two jewelry boxes into the river.

Savoy said Spader told him the day before that the burglary he was planning was an initiation rite for his brotherhood, the Disciples of Destruction.

Savoy has pleaded guilty to hindering prosecution and conspiracy and will be sentenced to five to 12 years in prison. He originally told police Spader and Gribble were at his house when the home invasion took place. Gribble is set to go on trial in February.

Savoy said he saw no blood on the machete and only a drop of blood on its sheath. He testified Spader and Gribble told him later in the day that they had since buried the machete and a knife used by Gribble in the woods in Brookline.

Spader is also charged with witness tampering. Another witness, Eldon Spikes, said Friday that Spader waved a knife at him the afternoon of the pre-dawn home invasion and threatened to kill him if he talked to police.

Spikes said he heard Spader and Gribble bragging about the attacks and how they were planning to kill again.

His testimony clashed with prior statements he gave police and the grand jury. On cross-examination, Spikes admitted he told police he had taken a near-lethal dose of prescription drugs and couldn't remember the weekend. 

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