Briton lose appeal against US mother-and-baby murder convictions
Tuesday 14 August 2012
A British man who is serving a life sentence in America for the murder of his wife and nine-month-old daughter has lost an appeal against his convictions.
Lawyers for Neil Entwistle had sought a re-trial, arguing evidence obtained during the warrantless searches of the family home in Massachusetts while police were looking for his wife and daughter should have been dismissed at the trial.
But Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, the state's highest court, today upheld the convictions.
Justice Ralph Gants said: "None of the defendant's claims on appeal warrant reversal of the convictions.
"We have reviewed the entire trial record and conclude that the defendant received a fair trial that was able tried and judged.
"The interests of justice do not require the entry of a verdict of a lesser degree of guilt on the murder convictions or a new trial."
The court said in its decision that the searches were justified because of the possibility that residents were in danger.
Entwistle's lawyers had also argued that he was denied his right to a fair and impartial jury because the jury pool was tainted by the "saturating and inflammatory" media coverage of the case.
But after a review of the trial transcript, the Supreme Judicial Court concluded the judge conducted a careful, balanced, and thorough voir dire that addressed the risks posed by the pre-trial publicity and did not abuse her discretion in concluding that the jury selected were fair and impartial.
Entwistle, originally from Worksop, Notts, was jailed in June 2008 after being convicted of shooting his wife Rachel, 27, and their nine month old daughter Lillian in Hopkinton, Massachusetts, on January 20 2006.
The former IT worker left the US the day after the killings. He told police he had left because he wanted to be consoled by his parents in the UK.
He said he found his wife and daughter cuddled together in bed, dead of apparent gunshot wounds, after he returned home from running errands.
Entwistle was extradited to the US for trial where he was sentenced to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole at Middlesex County Superior Court in Woburn, Massachusetts, with the judge calling Entwistle's crimes "incomprehensible".
Today following nearly four months of deliberations, the Supreme Judicial Court ruled: "None of the defendant's claims on appeal warrants reversal of the convictions. We have reviewed the entire trial record ... and conclude that the defendant received a fair trial that was ably tried and judged.
"The interests of justice do not require the entry of a verdict of a lesser degree of guilt on the murder convictions or a new trial," said the unanimous opinion, which was written by Justice Ralph Gants.
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Weather bomb in pictures: Storms cuts power for tens of thousands – and snow is on the way
Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
Russell Brand was rendered speechless on Question Time by this man
Fury at Airbus after it hints the super-jumbo may be mothballed
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
Sony hack: Angelina Jolie branded 'seriously out of her mind' in further embarrassing leaked email saga
£17000 - £20000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Helpdesk Support Technician - 12 ...
£28000 - £32000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: Maintenance...
£30000 - £38000 per annum + pesion + holidays: The Jenrick Group: World Wide S...
£35000 per annum + Pension+Bupa: The Jenrick Group: We are recruiting for an e...