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News Release

For Immediate Release
February 14, 2018

Contact:
Susan G. Morrell, Senior Assistant Attorney General
(603) 231-1585

David Caplin Pleaded Guilty to 1998 Murders

Attorney General Gordon J. MacDonald and Nashua Police Chief Andrew Lavoie announce that David Caplin pleaded guilty to two counts of Second-Degree Murder today in Hillsborough County Superior Court, Southern District. Mr. Caplin was charged with causing the deaths of Brenda Warner and Charlene Ranstrom between October 2 and 3, 1988, in Nashua. Mr. Caplin is charged with committing the murders in concert with Anthony Barnaby.

This case has a long procedural history that includes Mr. Caplin’s prior arrest for these murders in 1988. Those charges were dropped in 1991 after the New Hampshire Supreme Court suppressed evidence in connection with the murder. See, State v. David Caplin, 134 N.H. 302 (1991). Mr. Barnaby was also charged with the murders in 1988 and was tried three times in Hillsborough County Superior Court. Each trial ended with a mistrial due to a jury being unable to reach a unanimous verdict. In 1991, the murder charges against Mr. Barnaby were dropped.

The Nashua Police Department re-opened their investigation into these murders in 2010, with the assistance of the New Hampshire Cold Case Unit. In 2011, arrest warrants were issued for Mr. Caplin and Mr. Barnaby who were then living in their home country of Canada. They both challenged their extradition from Canada on the New Hampshire warrants. In April of 2015, the Canadian Supreme Court ordered them both returned to the United States to stand trial for the murders of Ms. Warner and Ms. Ranstrom.

After pleading guilty to the murders of Ms. Warner and Ms. Ranstrom, Mr. Caplin was sentenced to 10 to 20 years at the New Hampshire State Prison on each of the indictments for a total of 20-40 years at the New Hampshire State Prison. Five years of his minimum sentence was suspended in consideration of his cooperation in providing the State with truthful and complete information regarding the commission of these murders. Upon completion of his minimum sentences, Mr. Caplin has agreed to return to Canada and never return to the United States.

Because Mr. Barnaby’s case is pending, no additional details of the murders can be provided at this time. Mr. Barnaby’s trial on these charges is scheduled to begin at the Hillsborough County Superior Court, Southern District, in Nashua on August 28, 2018.

 


New Hampshire Department of Justice | 33 Capitol Street | Concord, NH | 03301
Telephone: 603-271-3658