One of 2 Who Admitted Killing Two Dartmouth Professors as Teens Faces Parole

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Dartmouth College is pictured in this file photo by Damien Fisher


CONCORD – A parole hearing has been scheduled April 18 for James Parker, 39, who was sentenced to serve 25 years to life in prison in connection with the brutal 2001 murders of a couple who were professors at Dartmouth College.

Parker was 16 at the time of the murders when he and his friend Robert Tulloch, then 17, later admitted stabbing Half, 62, and Susanne Zantop, 55, to death to rob them in a plan they had tried unsuccessfully at a couple of other homes.

Parker and Tulloch were both high school students in Chelsea, Vt., at the time. The two gained entry into the Zantops’ home by pretending to conduct a survey,  but had already purchased the two knives used in the killings.

Parker’s attorney Cathy Green said: “James Parker remains deeply sorry for his actions. He has spent his time in prison very constructively with dedication not only to his own rehabilitation, but to making it a better place for others. Out of respect for the Zantops’ family and friends, he will have no further comment.”

According to press reports at the time, they accidentally left the knife sheaths behind, which tied them to the scene. Former U.S. Senator Kelly Ayotte, who is running for governor, was an assistant attorney general at the time prosecuting the case.

Parker was set to testify against Tulloch who pleaded guilty to first-degree murder meaning he would be sentenced to life in prison with no chance for parole.  

Five years ago, Parker tried to have his sentence reduced as allowed in New Hampshire after inmates serve two-thirds of their minimum sentence, but withdrew his request.

According to the Department of Corrections website inmate locator, Parker is being housed in “community corrections,” not the men’s prison in Concord, indicating he may be in a halfway house.

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