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Monday, February 14, 2011

Gribble’s lawyers add to witness list

NASHUA – Christopher Gribble’s defense attorneys added seven people to their witness list Feb. 7, four of whom work at the Hillsborough County Department of Corrections, where Gribble has been held for more than a year.

Corrections officers Dianne Barber, Christine Mellnick, Emily Robbins and Denise Ryan could all be called to the witness stand by the defense during Gribble’s insanity trial later this year.

Jury selection is scheduled to begin Feb. 28, and the trial will start once 16 jurors are seated.

The list was filed by defense attorneys Donna Brown and Matthew Hill. Neither could be reached for comment Sunday.

Gribble, 21, of Brookline, has admitted to attacking Kimberly Cates and her then 11-year-old daughter, Jaimie Cates, in their Mont Vernon home Oct. 4, 2009, but pleaded innocent by reason of insanity.

The defense added three other names to the witness list as well, including state trooper John Encarcanao, investigator Cheryl Stafford-Rogers and Jeffrey Troutman, a man who lives in Provo, Utah.

The supplemental list also has many names found on the prosecution’s witness list, including Gribble’s co-defendants William Marks, Quinn Glover and Autumn Savoy and friends of Gribble’s, who testified at Steven Spader’s trial last year, including Jillian Baptist and Kyle Fenton. Gribble’s parents, Richard and Tamara Gribble, were also listed.

Gribble faces life in prison without parole if convicted of Cates’ murder and found sane.

He is also charged with attempted murder, conspiracy to murder and burglary, and witness tampering.

If jurors find his actions were the result of insanity, Gribble faces indefinite commitment to the secure psychiatric unit of the State Prison, with review hearings every five years, and he couldn’t be released until a judge declares that he’s no longer dangerous.

Cameron Kittle can be reached at 594-6523 or