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Guilty verdict returned in New Hampshire machete murder case

By Nina Golgowski, CNN
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Man found guilty in machete murder
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Christopher Gribble is found guilty on all counts related to 2009 home invasion
  • He is sentenced to life in prison without the possibility for parole
  • Kimberly Cates was hacked to death with a machete
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Read more about this story from CNN affiliate WMUR.

(CNN) -- A New Hampshire teenager was found guilty Friday on all counts related to the 2009 killing of a Mont Vernon woman and the severe stabbing of her daughter during a brutal home invasion in 2009.

Christopher Gribble, 19, was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility for parole after a jury found him guilty of first degree murder, attempted murder, conspiracy to commit murder, contamination of witnesses and conspiracy to commit burglary.

Gribble had pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity, admitting that he, along with co-conspirator Steven Spader, broke into Kimberly Cates' home and hacked her to death with a machete. Gribble also believed he had stabbed her 11-year-old daughter to death, but the girl survived.

Jurors deliberated for about an hour and half Thursday and Friday before returning the guilty verdict.

Cates' husband, who was away on business the night of the attack, spoke following the verdict, thanking the jury for their courage, saying his body felt "every strike of that machete and every stab of that knife" throughout the trial.

"My daughter will ache because her mom, best friend, and most important woman in her life, isn't beside her," David Cates said.

Judge Gillian Abramson addressed the daughter Jaimie, following the sentencing, thanking her for her attendance at Friday's verdict.

"You are a lovely little girl and I hope that you know that this man and the other man ... can never hurt you again," she said. "I wish you better days."

Spader was sentenced in November to life in prison without parole.

"I could go on for days about the depth of your depravity," Abramson said at Spader's trial. "It is sufficient to say, you belong in a cage."

A medical examiner determined that Cates, a 42-year-old nurse, had died from "multiple sharp injuries to the head, torso, left arm, and left leg."

The victim's daughter sustained serious knife injuries that required hours of surgery. She did not testify at the trials.

Three co-defendants brokered plea deals, pleading guilty to associated charges while testifying against Spader.

CNN's Deb Feyerick contributed to this report

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