Neighbors: Man accused in New Hampshire stabbing of Marin County woman had temper

  • An undated photo provided by The White Mountain School in Bethlehem, N.H.,shows Catherine "Kitty" Houghton a former White Mountain School trustee. Houghton was stabbed to death in a hotel lobby Monday Jan. 28, 2013 in Littleton, N.H. Rodney Hill of West Danville, Vt., has been arraigned on second degree murder charges. (AP Photo/HO/The White Mountain School)

WEST DANVILLE, Vt. — Some residents of the small Vermont hometown of a man charged with stabbing a 70-year-old woman to death at a New Hampshire hotel said Wednesday that the suspect was known for having a short fuse.

Prosecutors say 37-year-old Rodney Hill, of West Danville, repeatedly stabbed the woman Monday night in the lobby of the Hampton Inn in Littleton in what officials call a random attack.

Catherine Houghton, of Novato, Calif., died at a hospital shortly after the attack. She was a 1960 graduate of the White Mountain School in nearby Bethlehem and a member of the school's board of trustees. School officials said she was in town for board meetings Sunday and Monday and remained an extra day to rehearse with the school's a cappella choir.

What motivated the attack on Houghton is unknown. Prosecutors say Hill and Houghton were strangers who happened to be registered at the same hotel Monday night.

Jeff Downs, owner of Joe's Pond Country Store, said Wednesday that Hill was a frequent customer of the store and its small cafe counter and that it didn't take much to set him off.

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