Tulloch ordered to submit DNA sample

by Sabrina Peric | 6/21/01 5:00am

Grafton County Superior Court Judge Peter Smith ordered Robert Tulloch, the older of a pair of Vermont teenagers charged with the brutal murders of two Dartmouth professors, to submit blood, hair and handwriting samples to the state last week.

Tulloch's defense team, led by lawyer Richard Guerriero, is con-sidering appealing the decision to the New Hampshire Supreme Court.

Guerreiro argued that the request violates Tulloch's constitutional right against self-incrimination, but Smith disagreed

"The court has reviewed every state's constitutional or statutory provision for the right against self-incrimination," he explained to the Manchester Union Leader, "and those states ... have consistently held that such compelled samples are nontestimonial and therefore do not violate the self-incrimination clause."

New Hampshire Attorney General Phil McLaughlin will also be receiving an additional $100,000 to help prosecute Tulloch and his alleged accomplice, James Parker.

Governor Jeanne Shaheen and the state's executive council approved the additional funds on June 6.

McLaughlin said the money will help prosecutors pay for experts in crime scene reconstruction, DNA evidence, computer forensics and psychiatry.

McLaughlin, however, told the Union Leader that the Zantop case will cost well over $100,000, noting that while it is difficult to estimate the cost of an average homicide investigation, he considers anything more than $25,000 to be substantial amount.

The allocation of additional funds was vehemently opposed by Counselor Ruth Griffin of Portsmouth. She said she felt uncomfortable voting for the funds unless the state takes additional steps to solve a 10-year-old murder case in her city.

"If the case in Hanover is so very important, why isn't the case in Portsmouth just as important?" Griffin said at a press conference.

"I'm not satisfied giving $100,000 to the attorney general's office to go into another double murder until I have some satisfaction that they're still looking into the murder in Portsmouth."

Tulloch, 18, and Parker, 17, both of Chelsea, Vt., are charged with first-degree murder in the Jan. 27 stabbing deaths of Half and Susanne Zantop in their Etna home.

Tulloch's trial has tentatively been set for January. Prosecutors are still trying to certify Parker -- who was 16 at the time of the murders -- to stand trial as an adult.