Monday, June 23, 2008

Entwistle Murder Trial – Closing Arguments

Judge: Now that the evidence of the case is completed, it's time for closing arguments. Closing argument is not evidence. It's for the attorneys to assert in argument what has happened in the case. If your memory is different you should disregard what the attorney says.

If they refer to their own feelings or thoughts, you must disregard that.

You may not take notes during closing arguments except, if one or both attorneys refer to an exhibit and the context of the argument that is made, you may write the exhibit number down so that you can evaluate it in the jury room, you may do so. With that, we'll being with the closing arguments.

Closing Argument: Elliot Weinstein for the defense.

Weinstein begins by quoting Spitz and Fisher about homicide vs. suicide. Everything Neil did after finding the bodies was because he loved them. The prosecution said it was because he visited websites. Lots of people do that.

(Speaking of the porn & adult sites) How many millions of people visit these sites each day? There's no motive, no motive to kill the woman that he shared a loving relationship. Why would he do that? Because he and Rachel had some debt? Because their Paypal account wasn't paying out? There was no insurance on Rachel and Lillian.

There is no evidence of insurance. Neil was a talented, well-experienced computer engineer. Debt was not a motive.

He mentions that if not Neil, “who.” Others’ alibis worked out. But things are not always as they seem.

He discusses how scientists and investigations are supposed to be open-minded. Dygan and other investigators left the house with Entwistle’s name already filled in. Filters only let in what you are seeking. Weinstein is again going over that the crime scene investigators are supposed to be neutral. Mr. Soares and Ms. Dygan unintentionally went in with the idea Neil was the suspect. They went in with the idea it was a murder. They did not consider it was a suicide.

Weinstein shows picture of bodies in the bed. The photograph shows the bodies were moved before the picture was taken. Neil saw the gun on the sheet, moved the bodies, to protect them.

Yeah, right!

Neil left the US because he had no one left there for him.

Human emotions are not predictable. Manning even says on the tape that “things just happen.” He goes on to say “who can say any reaction is appropriate or inappropriate.” Neil acted the way he acted. He was protecting Rachel’s honor. He wasn’t going to tell Manning he returned the gun to Carver. Neil, committed to not betraying Rachel’s memory, couldn’t answer Manning’s questions.

When Manning accused him, Neil never considered “what he’d be getting.” He states Neil’s reaction.

He couldn’t call 911 and have the police find Joe’s revolver on the bed.

Weinstein reads the duty of the pathologist is to prove the deaths are consistent with how the investigators report. He quotes again from Spitzer and Fisher.

GSR was found on Rachel’s hands. Dygan says that it only says it proves Rachel was in the room when the gun was shot. He goes on to point at Zane’s shortcomings.

Weinstein’s theory is that Rachel positioned Lillian against her so that the baby would be over her heart. When she didn’t kill herself with that shot, shot again and hit herself in the forehead.

Weinstein again stresses the gunshot residue on both of her hands. There is no evidence that Rachel did not fire the gun. They never tested for GSR on wrists, sleeves, sheet. It they were positive, it might be positive evidence she did not fire the gun, but they didn’t.

GSR requires a scanning electron microscope. He goes on to all the places they could have tested for GSR and didn't.

They could have test fired the 22 to measure GSR cloud. Therefore, reasonable doubt remains.

The investigators did not consider suicide and didn’t do the GSR tests.

Neil arrived home 11:00 - 11:30. Later he said he didn’t remember exactly why he remembers.

At 11:30, Neil was at Starbucks. It proves he bought 2 lattes to share with Rachel. He didn’t return to shoot her. He went to the computer first and checked for job information. (Indicating Neil came back at 12ish.)

He shows the picture of Lillian and says that Neil couldn’t have looked at that picture on his computer and shot his family.

Suicide is considered by many to be shameful. He attributes the statistics from DiMaio’s book to Dr. Zane and states, among other things, that 92% of women who commit suicide do so with a handgun.

Neil found Rachel and Lillian dead. He saw the 22 and knew what happened. He had to get the 22 back to Carver, and he didn't call the police because he couldn't tell him what they did. He wasn't thinking rationally. How could he?

He couldn't tell Pricilla and Joe what Rachel did. How could he? He had to be with his family.

The jury has to decide for themselves if the prosecution proved the case beyond a reasonable doubt.

Weinstein says Neil wasn’t thinking rationally. He reiterates how he couldn’t bear tarnishing Rachel’s memory and returned the gun to Carver. He went home to his family, as he had nobody in the US.

Reasonable doubt requires and demands you find Neil not guilty.

Other evidence: Joanna Gately and her sister were supposed to be at the house for dinner at 5PM and arrived two hours late. The police entered the house and discovered nothing unusual. Joanna called Priscilla. She and her sister decided to stay in the car during the entire cold night. Weinstein opines that perhaps Rachel confided something to her best friend that Rachel hadn’t shared with her own family. That would explain Joanna’s apprehension.

At no time, did anyone, while searching for the family call Neil’s family to see if they knew where the family was. No one voiced any suspicions about Neil.

It’s not the defense’s burden to provide evidence of Rachel’s state of mind.

Weinstein points out that the investigators should have contacted Rachel’s doctors to discover if she was depressed.

Weinstein outlines Neil’s trip to Logan and on to England. It was not planned. He didn’t have a ticket, he had to get money.

His statement that he needed to be with his family was true.

The investigation wasn’t complete. There were failures to investigate. Why didn’t anyone tell the ME about the GSR testing?

Why no GSR testing on the fitted sheet?

Why didn’t the detectives go beyond 6-inch test for patterns of GSR?

They had the weapon since January 2006 and denied themselves, the ME, and the jury this information.

The “Neil did it filters” prevented a full investigation.

DNA sample from the muzzle wasn’t tested as to what it was. It could have been transfer DNA. Since there was only one swab, can’t really say what part of the gun it was on, the muzzle, or the barrel.

The “brown gel” wasn’t tested as to what it was.

Rachel was a potential DNA contributor on the black gun case.

Investigators didn’t investigate vaporous gunshot residue on pillowcase.

He goes on to mention other tests that weren’t done.

Her left hand was first seen under a pillow. Why didn’t they investigate? The position of the bodies in the photograph were not it the same position in which they were shot. Weinstein goes on to give examples of what should have been further investigated.

Addressing internet activity, Weinstein says it’s not a reason or motive to commit murder. The world has changed.

Financial difficulties. There was no evidence of financial problems. He mentions Rachel’s college debt, car, house.

He insinuates Rachel did the finances and searched for “kill” sites. He indicates the ENT account was the family account.

January 9, 2006 - Weinstein mentions the round-trip-flight for two adults from Manchester. He wanted his family to visit them.

Weinstein goes back to Dr. Zane and his lack of interest in GSR. His loyalty didn’t go to medical science; to the experts (that were quoted)... it didn’t go to a search for the truth.

We are now back to Neil struggling and grappling with this horrendous reality. He says we can’t understand the horror, the trauma of the situation. It was “trance-like.”

Weinstein discusses the funeral. Neil knew he couldn’t attend because he needed to protect Rachel’s memory. He went to the place he first proposed to Rachel.

If Neil did this, why would he leave his laptop behind? Why travel so openly to Carver?

Neil didn’t have a better story and made contradictory statements to friends? Why didn’t he have money, plane ticket, motive? Neil did not do this.

All of Neil's actions are excused because he had no motive for these killings. It may be very difficult for you to consider Rachel as a suicide, but you must. You must look at what was investigated and what was not investigated.

The deaths are an unimaginable tragedy and no one can bring them back. It’s a nightmare for everyone involved. The jury should not compound this tragedy.

Find Neil Entwistle not guilty.

Michael Fabbri for the prosecution

We agree that the burden is on the Commonwealth and you are duty bound to acquit the defendant if we didn’t prove the case.

You heard evidence that wasn’t in the courtroom.

Mr. Spitz and DiMaio weren’t in this courtroom.

We agree do not always appear as they are.

You heard a lot of testimony of the loving care Mr. Entwistle had for his family.

That don’t want you to think about and the evidence about the interview that never happened, but it was never set up.

He said it was canceled, but he never told his wife. What does that say about his loving and caring?

You heard about GSR on Rachel’s hands. 4 particles. GSR can be transferred easily. After Neil shot them and moved the bodies.

GSR is a red herring.

Let’s talk about this suicide. Is there any evidence that she wanted to commit suicide? She has a baby, a house, her family, and friends.

Because they couldn’t have sex in the Carver house?

The whole concept of shooting through another person makes no sense.

She’s holding the baby, through herself and there is no pain? It makes no sense.

Then hold the gun and shoot herself in the head? The photos would look very different. It’s another red herring.

Let’s look at the why. That a husband would murder his wife and child? It’s hard to look at it.

Neil Entwistle who claims to be the deep and loving husband and father. January 4th Neil is posting on Adult Friend Finder. “I’m looking for more fun in the bedroom?” What does that say about a loving husband?

You have this notepad where he explains his loss of Lillian and Rachel after several re-write. On the back you will see he wants to sell his story to the highest bidder. 2 weeks after finding the bodies of his wife and daughter.

Read the other story in here about looking up an old female friend.

He had no job, he was failing financially. When he talked to Sgt. Manning about suicide, he was talking about himself.

When they were at the Carver house on the 16th. They are trying to say Rachel did the searches for half priced escorts, violent death, eBay. She was in the house playing with Lilly and Priscilla.

January 19th the last day anyone spoke to Rachel. Priscilla, Joanna Gately.

Friday morning the defendant gets up. Leaves Rachel and Lilly. He decided enough is enough. Instead of going on that interview, he said he went on errands. He drove to Carver and got the gun.

When considering suicide, handle the gun. Try to configure the suicide if you can. The gun had Mr. Entwistle’s DNA all over it.

I suggest that Rachel didn’t use firearms. I doubt she even knew had to load it. But he did!

Rachel’s DNA is in and on that muzzle. You heard Trooper Walsh on back splatter. That’s how Rachel’s DNA got there.

He conveniently told Manning that he left the garage door open.

I got back, what have they been doing the last 2 hours. What does that tell you about how loving and caring?

He shoots Rachel first, shoots Lillian. The crying and screaming coming out of Lilly, he could not face it. That’s why he lays them out, puts the pillow, and covered them. He closed them off. He closed the door to the hose and walks out. He closes them off.

He didn’t even come back for the funeral. Talk about something incomprehensible.

That home, the belonging, the car, the wife the child…I have no interest. What does that tell you about the relationship he had with Rachel and Lillian.

He drives to the airport. Watch the videos. He's in terminal E and B walking around. Now he doesn’t know what to do. He drove and got gas. He leaves the car and the keys and closes them out again.

He tells Manning, I had to go home and be with my family. Why did he tell his friends another story?

Why did he tell Manning he saw blood bubbling out of Lilly’s mouth? Yet he doesn’t call 911.

He said he didn’t call because he didn’t have a cell phone. It didn’t take him long to get this cell phone in England.

He told his friends a different story that he called the police after finding the bodies.

The wallet with the ring, inscribed, “Always my orange rose, a little US money, some receipts is in a waste basket. Closing them off again.

The bodies and the scene showed the police the way to go. They turned over all the stones.

Entwistle asked Dash, is there another way to get off the platform. The bodies and evidence led all the way back to that platform and Mr. Entwistle.

This is not a murder suicide, this is a homicide. Put the Commonwealth to the test. We respectfully ask that you come back with a guilty verdict. Thank you.

Well, after the jury is given the instructions, we are officially on verdict watch.

Thank you so much ritanita, for all your help!


Lisa said...

Thank you for giving us the up-to-the minute details of the case. I was unable to find the closing arguments any place else.

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for the color play by play. I really enjoy knowing exactly what went on, great job!