Thursday, September 29, 2016
My Account  | Login
Nashua-BoireFieldAirport;60.0;http://forecast.weather.gov/images/wtf/small/skc.png;2016-09-29 18:12:31
Friday, September 23, 2016

Week of hearings upcoming in Barnaby, Caplin murder cases

By DEAN SHALHOUP

Staff Writer

NASHUA - A judge's recent ruling on a motion in the murder cases of former Nashuans Anthony Barnaby and David Caplin, and Tuesday's procedural meeting with prosecutors and defense lawyers, have set the stage for a series of hearings scheduled for consecutive days over nearly two weeks in October.

The consecutive days of hearings is the most active period to date in the men's cases, which stem from the beating and stabbing deaths of two Nashua women, Charlene Ranstrom and Brenda Warner, whose bodies were found early the morning of Oct. 3, 1988, in their Mason Street apartment. ...

Sign up to continue

Print subscriber?    Sign up for Full Access!

Please sign up for as low as 36 cents per day to continue viewing our website.

Digital subscribers receive

  • Unlimited access to all stories from nashuatelegraph.com on your computer, tablet or smart phone.
  • Access nashuatelegraph.com, view our digital edition or use our Full Access apps.
  • Get more information at nashuatelegraph.com/fullaccess
Sign up or Login

NASHUA - A judge's recent ruling on a motion in the murder cases of former Nashuans Anthony Barnaby and David Caplin, and Tuesday's procedural meeting with prosecutors and defense lawyers, have set the stage for a series of hearings scheduled for consecutive days over nearly two weeks in October.

The consecutive days of hearings is the most active period to date in the men's cases, which stem from the beating and stabbing deaths of two Nashua women, Charlene Ranstrom and Brenda Warner, whose bodies were found early the morning of Oct. 3, 1988, in their Mason Street apartment.

The similarities in their cases, including the charges - both are charged with two counts of first-degree murder and two counts of second-degree murder - have led to many of their hearings being combined and some of their attorneys' motions filed on behalf of both.

Such is the case for the upcoming set of hearings, which begin Monday, Oct. 3 - the 28th anniversary of the murders - when Judge Jacalyn Colburn will hear from prosecutors and the men's attorneys on a common motion to suppress evidence.

She will also hear arguments on a motion that Cathy J. Green, Caplin's attorney, filed in July seeking to dismiss the charges against her client. She contends in the 12-page filing that the fact Caplin was re-arrested more than 20 years after the original charges were dropped in 1990 constitutes an "unreasonable" delay that violates his right to Constitutional due process.

Barnaby's suppression motion, meanwhile, was filed earlier this month by his attorney, Mark Sisti, who argues that police, in interviewing Barnaby after the murders, violated his Constitutional rights by detaining him without probable cause and "relentlessly" interrogating him for more than 20 hours in order to coerce him to confess, according to the motion.

Also, Sisti claims, police chose not to video or audio record the sessions with Barnaby on orders from their commander, then-Nashua police Capt. Paul Goupil.

The other hearings - scheduled each day between Oct. 3-7 and 11-14 - will address numerous motions in limine, a type of motion in which one side asks the other to agree to not refer to, or offer, inadmissible evidence at trial.

Although Barnaby and Caplin were both arrested - Barnaby shortly after the murders and Caplin in 1990 - and charged with the murders, neither was ever convicted. Barnaby was released after mistrials, while prosecutors, citing insufficient evidence, eventually dropped the charges against Caplin.

In addition to the prosecution's inability to convict the men, or anyone else, for the murders, the case also drew widespread attention in 2010 when now-retired Nashua police detective Frank Bourgeois, while reviewing what had become a "cold case," uncovered new evidence, including DNA evidence, that tied the men to the crime.

Although sufficient new evidence was found to re-arrest the men in 2011, they were in jail in Canada at the time and weren't extradited to New Hampshire until April 2015.

Both have since been held in jail without bail as their cases move forward in court.

Dean Shalhoup can be reached at 594-6443, dshalhoup@nashuatelegraph.com or @Telegraph_DeanS.