Dartmouth Suspect Back In N.H.

Robert Parker, 16, returns to New Hampshire. Feb. 24, 2001.
The younger of two teen-agers accused of murdering two Dartmouth College professors has returned to New Hampshire.

Sixteen-year-old James Parker arrived at Lebanon Airport Saturday afternoon, escorted by half a dozen state police troopers. He said nothing as he was walked to a waiting cruiser.

He and his alleged accomplice, 17-year-old Robert Tulloch, are charged with first-degree murder in the Jan. 27 deaths of Half and Susanne Zantop. The Chelsea, Vermont, teens are accused of stabbing the couple to death in their Hanover home.

They were arrested in Indiana on Monday.

Tulloch was taken back to New Hampshire on Wednesday. He's being treated as an adult.

Attorney Douglas Brown said Parker would plead innocent and seek to be tried as a juvenile.

Parker is considered a child under state law, but he is likely to stand trial as an adult, a former state prosecutor said.

Michael Ramsdell, a former chief of the attorney general's homicide bureau, said a judge is likely to side with prosecutors given how the state has handled similar cases.

In the last 15 years, there hasn't been a juvenile who was charged with first-degree murder who wasn't certified as an adult, Ramsdell told Saturday's Union Leader of Manchester.

New Hampshire changed its laws in 1996 to remove 17-year-olds from the juvenile court system and treat them as adults. The law also made it easier to transfer juvenile cases to the adult system.

Initially, a district court judge will recommend whether Parker should face charges as an adult. A superior court judge then will review the recommendation. That process could take months.

In making their decision, the judges must consider eight factors, including the teen-ager's maturity, his prior record, the seriousness of the crime and the likelihood of reasonable rehabilitation if he remains in the juvenile court system.

Parker, who was arrested with Tulloch in Indiana on Monday, waived extradition Friday and was expected to arrive in New Hampshire on Saturday. Tulloch returned earlier in the week and faces a hearing Wednesday.