Barnaby scheduled to plea in double murder

Staff photo by Dean Shalhoup Anthony Barnaby glances toward the gallery after arriving in Hillsborough County Superior Court South Monday for a hearing regarding his upcoming trial.

NASHUA – Anthony Barnaby is scheduled to plead next week to charges related to his role in the 1988 brutal stabbing deaths of Brenda Warner and Charlene Ranstrom.

Assistant Attorney General Susan Morrell confirmed Thursday that Barnaby, 51, will appear in the Hillsborough Superior Court-South in Nashua on Wednesday to enter into a plea agreement. He is also due to be sentenced the same day. The details of the plea agreement are not known at this time.

In February, Barnaby’s alleged accomplice in the murders, David Caplin, 56, pleaded guilty to two counts of second-degree murder. Caplin was sentenced to 20-to-40 years in prison, but he received five years off the minimum sentence for agreeing to testify against Barnaby. Once he has served him minimum sentence, Caplin is free to return to his native Canada, and barred from ever returning to the U.S.

The bodies of the women were found in their Mason Street apartment on the morning of Oct. 3, 1988, and Barnaby soon arrested, but decades of legal wrangling and mistrials ensued.

Barnaby has been tried for the murder three times since 1988, but each of those trials have ended with jurors unable to reach a verdict.

Barnaby, who was friends with Caplin at the time of the murders, confessed to the crimes, reportedly telling police he and Caplin beat the women, tied them up, and stabbed them after a series of disputes. He also reportedly told police he and Caplin hated the women because they were lesbians. Barnaby later recanted his confession.

The two men lived downstairs from the victims in the same apartment building. The women reported Barnaby and Caplin harassed them,

slashing their car tires, and even stealing their cable.

Caplin was arrested in 1990, two years after the murders, but he never went to trail in the original case. Instead, he walked free after a series of New Hampshire Supreme Court rulings forced prosecutors to drop the charges. He was arraigned in a new case in 2015, along with Barnaby, based on DNA evidence developed in 2011.

The two men were extradited from Canada in 2015 in order to face the new charges after years of appealing in Canadian courts. Both Barnaby and Caplin are members of the Mi’kmaq tribe and lived on reservations in Canada after they were released in the 1990s. Both men were jailed in 2011 on unrelated charges when the case was reopened.

Damien Fisher can be reached at 594-1245 or dfisher@nashuatelegraph.com or @Telegraph_DF.