Knife-Murder Suspect Planned to Upgrade to Guns

New Hampshire defendant testifies that he couldn't afford gun this time.

ByBy Sherisse Pham
March 16, 2011, 11:40 AM

March 16, 2011— -- The murder defendant in a New Hampshire home invasion and machete attack said today in court that he had wanted to shoot people to death and that "it is possible I would kill again."

Christopher Gribble, 21, has admitted to stabbing Kimberly Cates to death and trying to kill her 11-year-old daughter in early October 2009. Gribble used a Boy Scout knife, while his convicted accomplice -- Steven Spader, already sentenced to life in prison -- used a machete in the attacks.

Gribble, 21, recounted on the stand how he told police that he wanted to use different weapons in future crimes. He didn't use a gun on the Cates, he said, because he had no money.

Gribble has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity.

Gribble also told jurors of how he had told police that he would cleverly disguise guns if he used them, so they could not be traced to the same killings or attacks.

"You could switch barrels in a pistol," he said in Hillsborough County Superior Court in Nashua. "So if you do a rifling test it wouldn't show. I think I learned it on 'CSI.'"

Today is Gribble's third day on the stand.

Prosecutors are cross-examining the man in an attempt to disprove his insanity claim, highlighting his conscious thoughts on the night of the Mount Vernon murder and his sense of right and wrong.

Gribble said some things are common sense. For example, he said, certain things can remove blood from clothing, and secrets are difficult to maintain if too many people know of them.

"That's that common sense you talked of earlier," lead prosecutor Jeff Strelzin said. "You didn't need 'CSI' to tell you that, right?"

"No," Gribble said, with a laugh.

Speaking of his time in prison, Gribble implied that guards and other inmates did not treat him as a danger.

"I could be considered dangerous," Gribble told the courtroom.

"People in jail don't know how dangerous you are?" Strelzin said.

"No, they don't," replied Gribble, smiling.

Strelzin asked him to explain why that thought made him smile.

"I smile because it's funny, all those people in there have no idea who they're messing with."

'Possible I Would Kill Again'

At times, Gribble seemingly mocked Strelzin, who repeatedly asked Gribble to recall and tell the jurors certain statements he had made to the police. If Gribble had difficulty remembering, Strelzin would have him read from a transcript, telling the courtroom the transcript page.

"I thought you'd have a page number for that," Gribble would say when he had difficulty remembering.

Regardless of the jury's decision, he said, he will spend the rest of his life in jail.

"If I may explain. If I go to regular prison, OK, it's another way of living. I'll adopt eventually," Gribble said. "I think it'd be preferable and good for me to get psychological help."

"You don't care where you end up?" Strelzin asked.

In response, Gribble shrugged.

For his final statement on the stand this morning, Gribble told the courtroom, "If I got out, it is possible I would kill again."

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