- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 6, 2015

NASHUA, N.H. (AP) - A Canadian man chose not to appear for his arraignment Wednesday on murder charges stemming from the 1988 killings of two women in an apartment in Nashua, New Hampshire.

With only a public defender present via video, David Caplin was arraigned on two counts of first-degree murder and two counts of second-degree murder. Caplin is being held without bail.

Jacki Smith, managing attorney for the New Hampshire Public Defender’s office in Nashua, declined to comment beyond saying that her office is representing Caplin.

The state attorney general’s office said Caplin, 54, was turned over by Canadian authorities Tuesday to the U.S. Marshal’s Service, then arrested by Nashua police. He’s scheduled for a probable cause hearing on May 19.

Caplin’s return to the U.S. follows a lengthy legal fight that ended last month when the Supreme Court of Canada ordered his extradition, along with Anthony Barnaby’s. Prosecutors say they can’t comment on when Barnaby can be expected in New Hampshire.

Police said new DNA evidence and witnesses justify extradition. The Canadian government ordered the removal of both men in 2011, but their cases have been under appeal since then.

Caplin and Barnaby were working construction when Charlene Ranstrom, 48, and Brenda Warner, 32, were bound, beaten and stabbed to death at their home.

Three juries failed to convict or acquit Barnaby, the last time in 1990. Officials dropped first-degree murder charges against Caplin after courts threw out much of the evidence. Prosecutors at the time said the balance of their evidence against him was circumstantial. Both men returned to Canada.

Nashua detectives, with the support of the cold-case unit at the attorney general’s office, agreed to reopen the investigation in 2010. They reinterviewed witnesses, which led them to new information. They also had advanced forensic tests done on blood and hairs at the crime scene, linking one hair on Warner’s body directly to Caplin.

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