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  • Staff photo by Don Himsel

    Judge Gillian Abramson speaks with the defense and prosecution in Steven Spader's homicide trial in Hillsborough County Superior Court in Nashua, New Hampshire Monday, Oct. 25, 2010. Spader is facing life in prison without parole for allegedly killing Kimberly Cates of Mont Vernon on Oct. 4, 2009.
  • Staff photo by Don Himsel

    Steven Spader arrives for the first day of his homicide trial in Hillsborough County Superior Court in Nashua, New Hampshire Monday, Oct. 25 2010. Spader is facing life in prison without parole for allegedly killing Kimberly Cates of Mont Vernon on Oct. 4, 2009.
Monday, October 25, 2010

Spader update: Trial staying in Nashua, judge denies defense motion arguing news coverage has tainted jury

NASHUA – Judge Gillian Abramson just denied the defense’s renewed motion to change the venue of Steven Spader’s first-degree murder trial.

Abramson did so after hearing arguments from both sides and did not elaborate on her reasoning. She said she would issue a written ruling later on.

Spader’s defense attorneys again asked Abramson to move Spader’s trial because of the media attention the case has attracted.

The trial itself will begin at 1 p.m. today with pre-view statements from lawyers. Jurors will then be bused to Trow Road in Mont Vernon to view the Cates home where prosecutors allege Spader and three others broke in on Oct. 4, 2009. Spader allegedly killed 42-year-old Kimberly Cates and attacked her daughter, Jaimie Cates, with a machete during the home invasion.

Spader walked into the courtroom just before 10 a.m. with his lawyers and two guards. He’s wearing khaki pants and a dress shirt with a navy sports jacket.

Spader’s lawyers, Andrew Winters and Jonathan Cohen, argued for the change based on what they have called negative media stories that poisoned the jury pool. The new motion is based on news stories since their last attempt, as well as the answers some jurors gave last week during jury selection, Cohen said.

Opening arguments will begin Tuesday morning.

-- Joseph G. Cote