Wednesday, October 07, 2009


I’ve been stewing over this for a few days, so bear with me.

Over this past weekend a woman was brutally murdered in her own home and her daughter seriously injured. This happened in Mont Vernon, a little town on NH Route 13 that sits between Amherst and New Boston. The village is maybe 20 miles from where I am sitting now. News reports and the charges brought against four young men accused of this crime all say that they were both attacked with knives and a machete.

The four, all between the ages of 17 and 19, targeted the home they went to because it was in a secluded area – four homes including the victim’s were on the street – and the prosecutor stated in the indictment of the two actually charged with the crime that if they found anyone in the house they would kill them.

Simply barbaric...

The victim is a woman named Kimberly Cates. She was 42 years old and a Registered Nurse that worked in three of the area’s medical facilities: St. Joseph’s Hospital, the Milford Medical Center, and CMC. I don’t know what she did at St'. Joe’s or Milford, but I’m told she worked in either the OR or the PACU, not sure which one. Her daughter, reported to be 11 years old, had to be taken to Children’s Hospital for treatment of her injuries. She was reported to have had extensive injuries that required about 11 hours of time in the OR to repair the damage.

I won’t name the accused. News reports have done that, and I have already formed my opinions based on what I’ve read so far.

When I first heard the reports about this incident I was originally in disbelief. Especially when it was reported that police were advising area residents to use caution. The investigation is still ongoing, and probably will be for some time as police do what they have to so that they can build a case against the four teens accused of the crimes.

I say “crimes” because only two of them were charged with first degree murder and attempted murder. The other two were charged with burglary and armed robbery, and one of them was supposed to be arraigned on possession charges the same day they were arraigned for these crimes.

I know that our justice system (for what it is, after all) says the accused are “innocent until proven guilty.” However, I have a question: why weren’t all four of these people charged with the same crime? After all, doesn’t the law say that if a crime happens somewhere and there are multiple people in the area of the crime that they are accessory to it whether or not they are directly involved? It seems to me that it should be that way. And it’s not fair to the victims or their family that it isn’t.

Just my opinion, of course. And if these guys are guilty, then they should be treated appropriately. Since there is no death penalty statute for this level of crime, they will all likely be sentenced to life without parole if they’re found guilty. They won’t be treated well in prison, though; especially because one of the victims was a child it’s likely that they’ll be shown what I could only describe as “special hospitality” by their fellow inmates.

For animals like these, it is only befitting.


Chris said...


As a long time lurker who lives in the Merrimack Valley here in MA I too have been follwing this. One of my co-workers best described this last nite as this is not how young men turn into true men.

I hope they get what they deserve this involving minors is what blows my mind the most and how society is so blind to what todays youth think is the "right" thing to do when in reality it's horrific.

TOTWTYTR said...

Apparently New Hampshire law is different in regard to all participants being charged equally for a felony. I'd guess that a couple of them didn't directly participate in the attacks. At least as far as the police and DA know at this point.

Personally, I think this is a good argument for the death penalty, but NH law limits that to police officer murders only. At least I think that's how that works.

In any event, if they are found guilty none of the four should ever see the outside of prison again.

Karen Brook Westhaver said...

I had the same astonished question, Walt, about why were not all 4 charged with the only thought is that this is still in the early stages of evidence gathering etc. and you know how charges are often added/changed/amended etc. As I looked into the faces of the 4 criminals on the 11:00 news, all I saw was unremoseful, unrepentent evil. We know there is evil in this world. It is so sad to see it firmly ingrained in these who are so young. This is terribly tragic on so many levels.

Susie Hemingway said...

But surely no person is born evil -are they?
Whatever has occured in their young lives or upbringing to have produced such appaling evilness.I would imagine drugs have been involved to make young people behave in such a barbaric way. Still death sentance or no, imagine their lives in prison. Such a waste of young lives all round. An such sadness for the hard working Nurse.

peteinnh said...

It is completely incomprehensible what transpired. These 4 kids aren't misfits or delinquents - they are barbaric, truly evil humans. To think that you, me, my kids and yours will now have to pay room and board for these monsters while they sit in prison for the next 6 or 7 decades just makes it that much more galling.