For Immediate Release
March 27, 2008
Senior Assistant Attorney General N. William Delker
New Hampshire Attorney General Kelly A. Ayotte announces that recent DNA test results have provided additional confirmation that Robert Breest is guilty of the 1971 homicide of Susan Randall. Susan Randall's badly beaten and partially naked body was found on the ice of the Merrimack River in 1971. Robert Breest was eventually arrested for the murder and brought to trial. The evidence at trial included substantial forensic evidence that tied Breest to the murder including hairs and paint chips. He was convicted by a jury of First Degree Murder and sentenced as a psych-sexual murderer in 1973. Breest was sentenced to life in prison. Under the laws in place at the time of his sentencing, he was not eligible for parole for 40 years.
In the 35 years since his conviction, Breest has repeatedly challenged his conviction and sentence. In 2000 and 2002, he requested and was granted DNA testing of blood underneath Susan Randall's fingernails. Those test results did not exclude Breest as the source of the DNA under the fingernails.
In 2007, Breest filed a federal lawsuit seeking yet another round of DNA testing on the blood under the victim's fingernails. The State objected to more testing on the grounds that the jury's verdict already established beyond a reasonable doubt that Breest was guilty of the murder. The State argued that new testing would only further traumatize the victim's family. The federal court ordered additional testing, reasoning that further DNA testing might exonerate Breest.
On March 25, 2008, Reliagene Technologies completed the DNA testing on the blood under the victim's fingernails and concluded that the blood was consistent with Robert Breest's DNA. This latest test result confirms the jury's original verdict that Robert Breest is guilty of the brutal murder and attempted sexual assault of Susan Randall. The newest DNA tests add to the already overwhelming evidence of Breest's guilt. The State is hopeful that these test results will end Breest's relentless litigation and finally provide the victim's family closure on this long ordeal.
New Hampshire Department of Justice | 33 Capitol Street | Concord, NH | 03301