CONCORD, N.H. – “Personal and moral reasons” prompted a New Hampshire man convicted of wielding a machete during a fatal home invasion nearly four years ago to drop his appeal, the man’s attorney said Wednesday.

Twenty-one-year-old Steven Spader was convicted of first-degree murder, attempted murder and other felonies in the death of 42-year-old Kimberly Cates and maiming of her 11-year-old daughter, Jaimie, in the Mont Vernon home invasion in 2009.

Attorney Richard Samdperil, who was appointed to represent Spader in his Supreme Court appeal, said that in his experience it is “pretty rare” that someone chooses to withdraw an appeal, particularly if they are serving a life sentence.

Spader was resentenced last month to life in prison plus 76 years. His resentencing was required under a U.S. Supreme Court ruling last year that said mandatory life sentences for those under the age of 18 at the time they killed amounts to cruel and unusual punishment.

Spader was a month shy of his 18th birthday at the time of the home invasion. Spader instructed his lawyers not to argue for a reduced sentence, leaving them hamstrung at last month’s hearing. Spader opted not to attend.

Spader may have signaled his intent to withdraw his appeal in a statement he wrote to Superior Court Judge Gillian Abramson, read at the April 26 hearing.

“Through my impulsive actions, I have torn apart families and ruined lives,” said the statement by Steven Spader, which was read by his lawyer. “I do not expect forgiveness, nor do I deserve any.”Abramson called his statement “self-serving” and “disingenuous” before imposing her original sentence. She called Spader the “ringleader” of the four who broke into the Cates’ home while David Cates was traveling on business.

“The circumstances of these horrific crimes and the extent of the defendant’s planning and participating warrant the imposition of life without parole and maximum consecutive sentences,” she wrote in her sentencing memorandum.

But Spader’s statement may be the first hint of remorse by a ruthless killer whose own words proved to be the best evidence against him. He bragged to friends in graphic detail about the attacks and wrote numerous letters to prison mates, including one that began, “I am probably the most sick and twisted person you will ever meet.”

A jury deliberated barely 90 minutes before pronouncing him guilty on all counts on his 19th birthday — Nov. 9, 2010. Before the jury entered the courtroom, Spader was overheard saying to his lawyers, “Maybe the jury will sing “Happy Birthday” to me.”