New Hampshire awaits return of Canadians charged in 1988 murder

Reuters News
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Posted: Apr 24, 2015 3:18 PM

By Ted Siefer

MANCHESTER, N.H. (Reuters) - Officials in New Hampshire were awaiting on Friday the return of two men from Canada to stand trial for the murder of a same-sex couple in 1988.

Canada's highest court on Thursday rejected appeals of the extradition orders that had been filed by the murder suspects, Anthony Barnaby and David Caplin.

The two men, native Canadians who are members of the Micmac tribe in Quebec, were accused in 1988 of binding, beating and stabbing to death Brenda Warner and Charlene Ranstrom in their apartment in Nashua, New Hampshire.

Barnaby was tried three times but juries could not reach verdicts. Charges against Caplin were dropped after a judge determined statements he had made could not be used against him.

Detectives with Nashua Police Department resurrected the case in 2011, after evidence from the crime scene, including a bloodied sock, was sent for DNA testing. Authorities in New Hampshire have sought the extradition of the suspects in light of the new evidence, which they said tied Caplin and Barnaby to the crime.

The extradition cases had been tied up in the courts in Canada until Thursday's Supreme Court ruling.

Barnaby and Caplin were in their 20s and working in construction in New Hampshire when the murders occurred. Police alleged in court documents that before the murders, Barnaby had threatened Warner and Ranstrom after they went to police with accusations that his friend had stolen items from the apartment building where the couple lived. According to police, Barnaby used anti-lesbian slurs and other epithets against the women.

Ranstrom was 48 years old at the time of the murders; Warner was 32.

Barnaby and Caplin have maintained their innocence.

Nashua Police Chief Andrew Lavoie did not return calls for comment on Friday.

(Editing by Scott Malone and Sandra Maler)