Friday, December 9, 2016
My Account  | Login
Nashua-BoireFieldAirport;31.0;http://forecast.weather.gov/images/wtf/small/nskc.png;2016-12-09 02:42:20
Monday, November 28, 2016

Re-sentencing in 1991 Nashua murder postponed to 2017

By DEAN SHALHOUP
Staff Writer

NASHUA - The re-
sentencing hearing for Eduardo Lopez Jr., who was 17 when he was sentenced to life in prison without parole in the 1991 murder of Nashua resident Robert Goyette, has been continued to early 2017, according to his court file.

Lopez, a Nashua resident until his arrest and subsequent conviction, is one of four New Hampshire men granted new sentencing hearings since the U.S. Supreme Court, in its 2012 Miller v. Alabama decision, ruled that automatic life without parole for juveniles is unconstitutional because it constitutes cruel and unusual punishment. ...

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 - The re-
sentencing hearing for Eduardo Lopez Jr., who was 17 when he was sentenced to life in prison without parole in the 1991 murder of Nashua resident Robert Goyette, has been continued to early 2017, according to his court file.

Lopez, a Nashua resident until his arrest and subsequent conviction, is one of four New Hampshire men granted new sentencing hearings since the U.S. Supreme Court, in its 2012 Miller v. Alabama decision, ruled that automatic life without parole for juveniles is unconstitutional because it constitutes cruel and unusual punishment.

The prosecution and defense both agreed to the postponement, which Hillsborough County Superior Court South Judge Lawrence Smukler OK'd at a brief hearing earlier this month.

The parties now have until March 1 to file all disclosure documents, including those by an expert for the state. Smukler scheduled the next status conference for 9 a.m. on April 12 in the Nashua court.

Re-sentencing hearings are also pending for the three other men who were 17 when they were sentenced to life without parole.

One of them, Michael Soto, who is also a former Nashua resident, was convicted of first-degree murder in the 2007 killing in Manchester of an 18-year-old Massachusetts man.

The two others - Robert Tulloch and Robert Dingman, formerly of Chelsea, Vt., and Rochester, respectively - are serving life terms for murders considered among New Hampshire's most chilling in decades.

Tulloch was convicted in the January 2001 killings of Dartmouth College professors Susanne and Half Zantop, an older couple whose Etna home Tulloch and a 16-year-old friend went to under the guise of asking them for help on a school research project.

The murders, discovered by a friend of the Zantops who was the first to arrive at a dinner party the couple was hosting, rattled the region, especially the Dartmouth community, for its brutal, and apparently random, nature.

Dingman was 17 when sentenced to life after being convicted of killing his parents in 1996 in their Rochester home. He and his brother, Jeffrey, then 14, were charged with shooting their parents, wrapping their bodies in plastic and leaving them in their home, where they were discovered several days later.

As for Lopez, who is now 42, the murder for which he was sentenced to life took place in downtown Nashua in March 1991 and claimed the life of Goyette, who owned a Nashua restaurant.

According to testimony at his trial, Lopez first approached another man intending to rob him, but shot him when the man tried to get away. The victim, Roscoe Powers, survived the shooting but has since died.

Lopez then crossed Main Street and approached a stopped car, reportedly brandished a gun and demanded money. As the driver, Goyette, began to drive away, Lopez shot him in the head, mortally wounding the 31-year-old Nashua native.

Lopez, who is represented by public defender Paul Borchardt, had also sought a new trial, claiming that a former Nashua police detective who had testified against Lopez failed to disclose that he had been disciplined for lying to his superiors in a previous, unrelated case.

But Superior Court Judge Jacalyn Colburn denied Lopez's motion for a new trial, stating in her order that the detective's testimony was "inconsequential in establishing Mr. Lopez's guilt."

Dean Shalhoup can be reached at 594-1256, dshalhoup@nashuatelegraph.com or @Telegraph_DeanS.