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Man who helped Mont Vernon home invasion killers denied parole

A 24-year-old man imprisoned for hiding evidence and fabricating an alibi for friends who savagely killed a Mont Vernon woman and maimed her 11-year-old daughter was denied parole yesterday by the New Hampshire parole board.

The board told Autumn Savoy he needs to work his way through transitional housing and develop a more appropriate re-entry plan before being released. Savoy’s minimum sentence ends in November, but corrections spokesman Jeff Lyons said it will likely be six to nine months before the board revisits the request.

Savoy pleaded guilty to helping the killers, Steven Spader and Christopher Gribble, dump their blood-soaked clothing in a river hours after the Oct. 4, 2009, attack on Kimberly Cates and her daughter, Jaime. Savoy has said repeatedly that he knew only that Spader and Gribble were planning a burglary.

Board Chairwoman Donna Sytek said the decision yesterday was as much for Savoy’s safety as that of the public.

“We want you to have the supports in place to make you successful on the outside,” she told him.

Savoy had proposed moving into a rooming house in Nashua, and he told the board yesterday that he had been offered a job with a moving company. But board members said they were concerned with both, particularly the rooming house, which is inhabited largely by other felons.

Lynda Ruel, director of the attorney general’s victim-witness advocate program, read a statement from David Cates, which described the injuries to his wife and daughter.

“I am pretty sure the majority of the citizens of New Hampshire would agree that Autumn Savoy has not met his debt to them for not preventing this murder and maiming,” Ruel read.

Savoy, appearing by video conference from the Merrimack County jail, appeared solemn and occasionally rubbed his eyes. He’s been incarcerated at the jail since 2011 and said yesterday that he has a clean disciplinary record and has completed several correctional programs while there.

His mother, Katherine Savoy, said she speaks often with Savoy and has “seen him grow in his awareness of his part in this crime.” She said he has admitted to a drug problem and planned to enroll in treatment upon release.

“He wants to be a giving member of society,” she said. She and other family members declined to comment after the hearing.

Savoy was paroled in 2012 to his current sentence, which he would max out of in 2018. Spader and Gribble are both serving life sentences without parole.

Christopher Lussier, a close friend of the Cates, said he was relieved yesterday by the board’s decision. He said the family is doing as well as can be expected. Jaimie, now 16, has blossomed into a “gregarious, tenacious” teenager, he said.

(Jeremy Blackman can be reached at 369-3319, jblackman@cmonitor.com or on Twitter @JBlackmanCM.)

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