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  • Staff photo by Don Himsel


    Autumn Savoy, co-conspirator in the Cates case who testified at both the Steven Spader and Christopher Gribble trials, was sentenced Wednesday, April 27, 2011.
  • Staff photo by Don Himsel


    Autumn Savoy, co-conspirator in the Cates case who testified at both the Steven Spader and Christopher Gribble trials, was sentenced Wednesday, April 27, 2011.
  • Staff photo by Don Himsel


    Autumn Savoy mouths the words "I love you" to supporters attending his sentencing in Hillsborough County Superior Court in Nashua, New Hampshire Wednesday, April 27, 2011.
  • Autumn Savoy mug shot from 2010
Thursday, April 28, 2011

Man who helped killers sentenced

NASHUA – Autumn Savoy was sentenced Wednesday to between five and 12 years in prison for his role in helping to cover up the murder of Kimberly Cates.

Savoy, 21, of Hollis, was sentenced Wednesday to two counts of hindering prosecution. He was also given a suspended sentence of 3 1⁄ 2 to seven years on one count of conspiracy to hinder apprehension.

The last person charged in connection to the murder, Savoy had agreed to a plea deal that would free him after five years if he follows the conditions of the sentencing and stays out of trouble while in prison.

No member of the Cates family attended Wednesday morning’s sentencing, which took about 15 minutes in Hillsborough County Superior Court. Assistant Attorney General Peter Hinckley said afterward that David Cates, Kimberly’s husband and the father of Jaimie Cates who was injured in the attack, agreed with the sentencing deal.

Savoy did not participate in the attack and was not present during the October 2009 invasion of the Cates’ home at 4 Trow Road, Mont Vernon.

He helped the killers hide evidence in the days after the brutal crime.

Dressed in an orange prison jumpsuit and bound in ankle chains, Savoy spoke briefly when Judge Robert Lynn asked if he wanted to make a statement,

“I’d like to apologize to the Cates family. When I was given the opportunity to do the right thing, I made a conscious decision not to. I’m truly sorry,” Savoy said.

He also thanked his family for their support.

Savoy’s sentence came in exchange for his testimony against Steven Spader and Christopher Gribble, both of whom have been convicted of murder by juries and sentenced to life in prison.

Among other things, Savoy admitted it was his idea to throw the killers’ clothes in the Souhegan River, in a failed attempt to get rid of them.

Savoy testified in the October trial of killer Steven Spader, saying that after the Mont Vernon home invasion and murder last year, Spader acted “like it was just a game, like he was in the middle of a game.”

Hinckley said Wednesday that Savoy’s testimony was “one of many pieces of evidence” that helped convict Spader.

Two other men were previously sentenced to prison for their part in the home invasion. Quinn Glover, 19, was sentenced to 20 years, and William Marks, also 19, was sentenced to serve 30 years in prison.

Savoy’s attorney, Robert Bartis, said Savoy thought the sentencing was fair. He declined further comment.

“We wouldn’t have entered into the agreement if we didn’t think it was fair,” Hinckley said, adding, “Some people may disagree.”

Hinckley said Savoy’s sentencing brings a close to “a terrible ordeal for the Cates family.”

Several of Savoy’s friends attended the sentencing but declined to speak to a reporter. One left the courtroom in tears.

Patrick Meighan can be reached at 594-6518 or pmeighan@nashuatelegraph.com.