N.H. Supreme Court Rejects New Trial for 78-Year-Old Convicted in 1973 Case

Feb 17, 2017

The state’s highest court has denied a new trial to 78-year-old convicted murderer Robert Breest.

In an opinion released Friday morning, the justices agreed with a lower court’s decision that new DNA testing would not have resulted in a different verdict.

The new testing showed that DNA found under the victim's fingernails was from multiple men, which appears to contradict the state's story that Breest acted alone. But the new DNA does not exclude Breest as a suspect.

“Based on the posture of the case – just as a matter of statistics – we were more likely to lose rather than to win but we were hopeful. So we are disappointed in the outcome,” Breest's lawyer Ian Dumain said.

Carole Breest, the defendant's wife of 45 years, says she was stunned by the court's ruling. But says she talked to her husband this morning and the pair are steadfast on his innocence - stressing they're never giving up hope.

Breest was convicted in 1973 of raping and killing 18-year-old Manchester woman Susan Randall. He was given a life sentence – of which he has served 44 years. Breest has had multiple parole hearings but because he won't admit to the crime, they were all denied.

Dumain said he will take the week to decide what – if any next steps Breest has at an appeal. 

Full N.H. Supreme Court Opinion