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Vermont man charged in 2013 Littleton murder to be sentenced Thursday

HAVERHILL –- A 38-year-old Vermont man charged in the January 2013 stabbing death of a woman at a Littleton hotel is scheduled to be sentenced this afternoon in Grafton County Superior Court in North Haverhill.

Rodney Hill of West Danville, Vt., is, according to his attorney, set to plead not guilty to second-degree murder by reason of insanity in the death of Catherine “Kitty” Houghton, 70, a veteran of the U.S. Foreign Service with longstanding ties to New Hampshire’s North Country.

If a judge approves the agreement, Hill would be confined in the secure psychiatric unit at the New Hampshire State Prison. Hill, as part of the agreement, would acknowledge that he’s a threat to the public.

Hill, a welder with a wife and young children, would be subject to review every five years during his psychiatric treatment to determine whether he remains such a threat, his lawyer, Mark Sisti of Chichester, and Senior New Hampshire Assistant Attorney General Susan Morrell said in April.

Houghton, prosecutors say, happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time on Jan. 28, 2013, and was a random murder victim who was overpowered by the much larger and younger Hill while both were guests at the Hampton Inn off Route 302 in Littleton.

The night of his arrest, Hill told police he had not recently been taking his prescribed anti-psychotic medication. 

-- Bob Hookway



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