Rodney Hill, 37, of West Danville, Vt., said nothing as he entered the courtroom in Littleton, N.H., Tuesday. Prosecutors say Hill viciously stabbed a hotel guest in the lobby at the Hampton Inn Monday night. Frightened hotel workers who witnessed the attack called police immediately.
"Individuals from the Hampton Inn. I think there were several 911 calls," said Susan Morrell, the assistant N.H. attorney general.
Hill was taken into custody outside the Hampton Inn without incident. Prosecutors would not say if he was staying at the hotel.
We do know that the victim, Catherine "Kitty" Houghton, 70, was staying there. But why and how the two came into contact remains a mystery.
"We are in the very early stages of trying to determine just that," Morrell said. "What was their relationship? What was the motive? So, I cannot comment too much on that. However, at this time, we do not believe that they knew each other. We believe it was a random act."
Investigators say Hill stabbed the victim multiple times in the neck, torso and back. They declined to say whether Hill admitted to the attack or if other hotel guests witnessed it. Houghton graduated from the White Mountains School in Bethlehem and was on their board of trustees. She was in town for a musical performance Tuesday night. Houghton received her Ph.D. from Stanford and lived in California.
Hill did not comment as he was escorted out of the courtroom. He did not enter a plea at Tuesday's arraignment. A preliminary hearing has been set for Feb. 5. In the meantime, Hill is being held without bail.
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