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.
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.