Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Entwistle Murder Trial – Day 4

~Entwistle in court

Entwistle is led into court; the judge is on the bench and calls for a pretty long sidebar.

The jury is finally called in at 9:27am.

Fabbri calls witness - Sgt. Michael Sutton, he responded to the first call to the Hopkinton home. He has been in law enforcement for 22 years.

January 21st, he was on the 4pm to midnight as shift supervisor. At 8:31pm he was dispatched to 6 Cubs path.

He met 2 females at the home and spoke with Joanna Gately. He then walked the property checking doors and windows, all of which were locked.

When he returned to the front door and Officer O’Neil arrived they attempted to gain entry to the house through the front door. He used a Blockbuster card to slip the lock.

On entry he heard music and the TV and there were a few lights on. They checked the living room, dinning room and the kitchen.

O’Neil went to the family room, he went to the half bath and laundry room,

The kitchen had dishes and food around like someone had just finished a meal.

O’Neil went to the basement and Sutton went upstairs and checked the bedrooms. He checked the bath and the tub had water in it like they had been bathing the baby. He saw an unmade bed in the master bedroom with the bedding piled up on it.

He the returned to the foyer and talked to O’Neil. They spoke to the Gately sisters. He allowed Joanna into the house to take the dog out.

He checked the mailbox and there were 2 pieces of mail that had no postmarks on them and brought them in the house. He allowed Joanna to leave a note.

He saw a bill on the counter from BMW and called the VIN number in to dispatch to see if they could get a plate number.

They all left the house and Sutton spoke to Priscilla on Joanna phone. He told Priscilla they would put out a general broadcast for the family and vehicle.

Sutton identifies a picture of the kitchen with the counter and the bill and the camera O’Neil had examined.

Sutton then left for the station and confirmed the broadcast went out and he called of few of the area hospitals.

Fabbri puts up a diagram of the 1st floor plan of the house and Sutton confirms that. Sutton shows where they went when they first entered the home.

Fabbri puts up the diagram of the second floor and Sutton repeats the same process of showing the path that he traveled.

The floor plan of the master bedroom and bath is now up and we go through his movement again.

Sutton is shown a photo of the master bedroom that he identifies. It reflects what Sutton saw that night.

Sutton now identifies where on the kitchen table Joanna left the note.

The next day at 5pm on Sutton’s shift, the Gatelys and Matterazzos came to the police station. He introduced them to Officer Greg DeBoer and instructed him to take a missing person report.

He and O’Neil then went back to the neighborhood and canvassed some of the neighbors.

He and Detective Scott van Raalten entered the home through the garage after getting the code from Joanna. As soon as they entered the garage they noticed and odor. When they got to the first floor the odor was even stronger.

They proceeded to the master bedroom. He saw a woman’s wristwatch and reading glasses on the floor. He lifted the edge of the comforter and saw a woman’s foot and then showed Det. van Raalten.

They moved to the head of the bed and lifted the comforter and saw a baby’s face and a woman’s face.

They left the bedroom and went to the foyer. They both made phone calls and then did a further search of the house. This time they opened closets, searched the attic, the shed and hot tub. They found no one else.

They returned to the front door and waited for additional personnel to arrive.

Again, they return to the floor plans and Sutton shows their path of movement during the search. They looked at any area that could conceal a person.

Sutton identifies photos of the bedroom and bed and verifies they are accurate to what they observed that night.

The exited the house after securing it. Det. John Porter and a few patrol officers arrived as well as the chief. Then State Police arrived.

Sutton remained at the scene outside. The next few days, he followed up with interviewing the neighbors.

No further questions.

Cross - Weinstein

Weinstein reviews Sgt. Sutton’s testimony in detail. He emphasizes the following:

Sutton was there on 21st and 22nd? Yes.

And you learned things weren’t, as they seemed?

Gately sisters were there.

She absolutely told you that she was supposed to be there at 5.

He was there to see if anybody was home.

Seeing the lights on didn’t tell him if anybody was home.

It’s a pretty good security measure for a homeowner to leave lights on.

You advise people to do that.

In order to find out, you had to enter the house.

In order to enter the house, you would do everything but break in.

You broke in.

Did you break in? In the way you put it yes.

Did you have the home owner’s permission to pick the lock?

Judge: Mr. Weinstein, wait until the questions are answered.

Joanna didn’t let you know she tried to use a credit card to get in? No.

But you were able to get in. Yes.

Your purpose was to do a thorough search? No.

Your purpose was to see if anybody needed assistance.

Sutton doesn’t think doing a walk-through was a thorough search.

So you didn’t do a thorough search? Yes.

You focused on O’Neil going to see if there was a car in the garage. Yes.

Sutton didn’t have to give him a specific instruction to look for people.

Snarky comment from Weinstein. Judge asks him to reword the question without snarkiness (my words)

Since Sutton didn’t find any blood or other suspicious evidence, they left.

Joanna asked to stay in the house, he said “no” and she decided to stay in the car and wait.

Sutton felt waiting wasn’t out of place based on Joanna’s concern.

Did he check on Joanna and Maureen in the cold night? No.

He didn’t know she was going to stay all night.

He found bodies on the 22nd.


What was his purpose on the 21st? To check on some people about a well-being check.

What did he know? He knew they’d not lived there long; their being gone was not usual, Joanna had knocked on the door, couldn’t contact anyone at the house. Joanna was distressed. He received additional information from her (not allowed to say what) which made him decide he had to enter the house.


Weinstein reiterates he received information from a person who had been invited to dinner and was 2 hours late?

He spoke to Priscilla Matterazzo. Did you try to contact Neil’s parents? He had no knowledge of them. He hadn’t called Priscilla, Joanna had.

Weinstein points out his position as a law enforcement officer and all his means of locating them, and he didn’t reach out to his parents. Sutton says not on a Saturday night. And Sunday? Other people were doing that.

Does he have any personal knowledge of anyone attempting to contact Neil’s parents? No.

Fabbri now calls Steve Bennett. He is Sergeant with the State Police with the crime scenes services. He was at Logan Airport and was asked to go to the west garage and photograph a vehicle. It was a white X3 BMW utility vehicle.

Bennett is shown a photo of the vehicle on level four in area DD and he verifies this is the vehicle he photographed.

The vehicle was locked but when he looked inside he saw the driver’s seat was slightly reclined. He met with Trooper Daniel Sullivan who secured the area. Bennett called for a wrecker to pick up the vehicle and bring it to the barracks at the airport that is less than a mile from the garage.

Cross - Weinstein

Car first photographed in it’s parking space? Yes.

Just a “plain old car” like others in the airport? Yes.

Geez, Weinstein isn't winning any friends here with his snarky crap.

Next witness on the stand is Sgt. Mary Ritchie with the State Police crime scenes services for the past 16 years. She responds to death scenes in the Commonwealth. She has been to hundreds of crime scenes. She goes through her CV. She is a latent fingerprint specialist and footwear specialist.

January 22, 2006 she was called to the Hopkinton Police Department and was told why she was called. She took prints from Joanna Gately. They went to 6 Cubs Path because there were two victims in the home.

She describes the home, no forced entry, no sign of a struggle. They went up to the master bedroom. They photographed the crime scene. She describes the unmade bed and a large fluffy white comforter on the bed.

She identifies a photo of the bedroom as accurate.

When you entered the room did you make note of the temperature? No I did not.

She describes how they examined the house by photographing and documenting each room.

Fabbri has Ritchie show their movements through the house on the floor plan diagrams.

I realize Fabbri is meticulous, but I’m going to blow my brains out if we pull out theses floor plans again.

She describes the comforter as covering most of the bed, but bunched up. They photographed everything prior to touching the comforter.

The team knew the victims were under the comforter so they removed the comforter Rachel was facing the left and had her arm over the baby. A sheet was covering Rachel and a pillow was over Lillian’s face and partially covering Rachel’s face.

When they removed the pillow, they could see both Rachel’s and Lillian’s faces. The underside of the pillow had reddish-brown stains. They removed the sheet and they saw her lying on her left side with her feet were drawn up and she had her arm over Lillian.

There was a slight discoloration on Rachel’s mouth and Lillian’s face was bruised around the eye area and she had expelled some liquid. There was a puncture in Rachel’s chest.

They took note of the lividity and it was consistent with how they found Rachel. So she had not been moved.

In moving Lillian, they observed a puncture to the left area chest area. It was not evident prior to moving Lilly because of Rachel’s arm. On examination, they decided it was a gunshot wound.

The ME’s office removed the bodies around 4am.

The team then began processing the home for latent prints. Ritchie examined the master bedroom, the doorjambs, the headboard, part of the wall, etc.

Ritchie describes how fingerprints are different from person to person and what they look for when looking for latent prints. Loop, whorl and arch ridges are the distinct details in fingerprints. Palm prints have different characteristics.

Latent prints are left by perspiration, oils in the skin. Some surfaces are more conducive to leaving fingerprints behind.

To lift prints, they use chemicals or powders depending on the type of surface. They will lift the prints by tapes or putty’s.

Ritchie was able to lift latent prints from the exterior doorjamb – a palm print and a fingerprint.

During the comparison phase they associated the palm print with Neil and the fingerprint was Rachel’s.

No shell casings were found at the house.

Other prints from the door into the garage, on the garage side were found and it was associated to Kim Puig – owner of the house.

A total of 25 sets of prints were taken from the home.

Days and weeks following the examination at 6 Cubs Path, did you process additional items. Yes ballistic items; weapons, handgun, rifles, ammunition, trigger locks, etc.

She examined a jar of ammo that had two fingerprints.

Who did they belong to?

Objection, sustained

Of the number of prints cards you had…

Sidebar –

The jar you processed, please describe the jar. It appeared to be a baby jar filled with shells. Ritchie refers to her report and the jar was given item number 17-1.6. The prints on the jar belonged to Anthony Matterazzo.

She examined a 22-colt firearm that is now given to Ritchie and she identifies for the court as item 17-4. The box also contains an envelope, item 17-13. The envelope holds the trigger lock for the gun. The prints on the lock lacked quantity and quality for comparison phase. The gun had 10 prints that could not meet the comparison phase.

Judge adjourns court till 9am tomorrow.

The judge is reviewing the diagrams the Weinstein has been objecting to.

Judge - The diagrams contain information relating to the size of the rooms.

Fabbri - Some do, your honor.

Judge - There is no foundation for the size of the rooms being on the diagrams.

The diagrams without size will be admitted and those that do, will not.

They will be redacted.

Thanks ritanita for you help!


Anonymous said...

What is Weinstein's point about the whole being 2 hours late for dinner business?

Sprocket said...

We thought it was a waste of the court's time, too. His snarky factor is showing big time in his cross examinations!