Friday, June 6, 2008

Entwistle Trial Finally Begins

Neil Entwistle, date unknown

Key Players in the Entwistle case:

Judge - Diane Kottmyer

Defense - Elliot M. Weinstein and Stephanie Page

Prosecution - Michael Fabbri and Daniel Bennett

Judge Kottmyer takes the bench.
Jurors brought in. Jury sworn in.
Indictments read as Entwistle and his attorneys stand.

Judge describes what will take place in the next few weeks. There is to be no discussion of the case, no watching news on the case…the usual admonishments.

Exhibits will be in the jury room during deliberations. Transcripts will not be allowed.

Ritanita - The judge is doing a beautiful job of instructing the jury. She makes it very clear to the jurors what is and isn't evidence, the role of notes, etc. I find very useful that she explained that they will not have transcripts in deliberations. She said that transcripts can be very misleading since they don't include voice inflection, body language, etc.

ADA Michael Fabbri’s opening statement:

After I came home and found them, I covered them up. My first thought was to go down to the kitchen for a knife, but I knew that would hurt. I went to my in-law’s to get a gun and kill myself. But, I couldn’t get in. The evidence will show he had the keys to the house. The words of Neil Entwistle.

I could see the hole in Lilly. Evidence will show this isn’t true.

I didn’t tell Rachel’s parent before I left for England. I didn’t even think about funeral arrangements. The words of Neil Entwistle.

Fabbri goes into how Entwistle and Rachel met, got married and had baby Lillian. They lived with Rachel’s parents after they moved from the UK. How neither Rachel nor Entwistle were employed.

You will hear evidence how Joe, Rachel’s stepfather owned guns and belong to a gun club. You will hear evidence that Entwistle went to the club with Joe and knew where in the house the guns were kept.

You will learn about Entwistle’s search for escorts’ sites. You will learn he visited sites seeking a discreet affair. He also visited sites days before the death of Rachel and Lillian, on murder and suicide.

Entwistle claimed to have an interview on the day of the 20th that was never set up.

You’ll see records of the defendant arriving at Logan airport. You’ll learn the defendant left and then attempted several cash withdrawals. Then Entwistle returned to Logan.

After not hearing from Rachel, her parents went to the house and found it locked. They called the house and Rachel’s cell, but received no answer. The car was not at the house

Friends arrived for dinner and also got no response, but they could hear the family dog inside and a light was on in the house. They then spoke to Rachel’s mom inquiring about the whereabouts of Rachel.

Priscilla’s mom called police and asked for a well being check.

Police did a cursory search and found nothing out of order and no people were in the house.

Rachel’s friends slept in their car in Rachel’s driveway. The next day, police arrived for a second well being check. Police entered the home and noticed a smell. Further search of the bedroom they discovered Rachel and the baby under a comforter.

No shell casings found in the home. Police found blood splatter on the pillow under Rachel’s head and the wall.

At autopsy a bullet hole was found in Rachel’s hairline. The bullet was a 22 caliber, the same ammunition used by Joe Matterrazo.

The defendant didn’t attend the wake and funeral of Rachel and Lillian; he sent flowers.

When arrested, Entwistle had a paper on him that listed escort services and how he wanted to sell his story to the highest bidder.

Defense Attorney Elliot M. Weinstein –

On January 20, 2006 Neil Entwistle changed, his life changed, never to be the same. On that day he lost his wife and daughter. He loved them both.

You will learn that things are not they way they may first appear to be.

The first time police entered the home they found nothing out of the ordinary. No indication that anything was wrong. No blood.

The Gately sisters arrived 2 hours late for a dinner party. They were surprised no one was home. Using a code, they entered the home, watched television.

Everyone will tell you what a loving couple Rachel and Neil were. They were partners; they were soul mates.

Rachel’s parent will tell you that Neil was a loving husband and a good son-in-law.

Rachel and Neil used their computers for their emails correspondence, for their business and for their other entities.

The evidence will show that others also used their computers.

The prosecution took time to investigate this case.

You will learn from the investigators.

You will learn things from the witness from the state crime labs.

You will also learn much from the thins they didn't do from the steps that they didn't take

You will learn several things, from the state witnesses.

The evidence you will hear is going to be sordid. It's going to be gruesome.

Very important witnesses will leave you with questions and doubt.

As you hear and see the evidence, the evidence will show you that Neil is not responsible for killing Lillian or Rachel.

Opening statements are complete.

Priscilla Matterrazo is the first witness:

She is talking about how Rachel and Neil met. Rachel was teaching school in the UK and Neil worked in the computer field.

In 2002 Rachel and Neil spoke about getting married. They married in 2003 in Massachusetts. They came over in April for the wedding shower. They seemed to get along very well and seemed to love and respect each other.

2005 Rachel gave birth to Lillian Rose. Mom spent two weeks in the UK after Lillian was born. She went over with Rachel’s college friend, JoAnna Gately.

Priscilla kept contact with them after April of 2005, talking with them by phone at least every other day.

In August she learned that the Entwistles were planning to move back to the US.

Neil would have better job opportunities to establish his career, and they wanted Lillian to be around her family.

Rachel and Lilly came to live in the United States. Neil closed the home in the UK and Rachel and Lilly lived with her parents.

Entwistle had no job and Rachel stayed home to raise Lillian. She was still receiving pay from the school.

Entwistle had some internet business and used the computer in an office over the garage. Entwistle’s company was "Embedded Technologies" and went by the initials of "ENT". Rachel didn't spend much time on the computer, only to send e-mails. Rachel didn't do any work for ENT.

Rachel and Neil were provided a set of keys to the house. There was a set of spare keys in the doghouse in the backyard.

Rachel and Neil visited Priscilla where she worked.

So that disproves Neil’s statement after the deaths that he didn’t know where she worked.

Rachel brought Lillian in, to see everyone.

Rachel had worked at my office one summer so they all knew her.

Entwistle would come to the office a couple of times a month. Sometimes to have lunch.

They're talking about the guns Joe keeps, and where he keeps them in the house.

Priscilla doesn't know so much about the types of guns Joe has. Joe kept his keys (including the ones for the drawers he kept his guns in) on top of a piece of furniture (?) in the dining room/living room area...

Joe took Neil with him for firearms practice twice.

Neil and Rachel leased a BMW in 2005.

Rachel and her mom had a joint account so Priscilla could pay Rachel’s bills when she was in the UK. Later Entwistle was added to the account.

Rachel and Entwistle had a savings account in Sovereign Bank. Rachel and her mom had a joint account so Priscilla could pay Rachel’s bills when she was in the UK. Later, Entwistle was added to the account.

There was 17,000 dollars in it.

Neil and Rachel discussed monthly bills - one night Priscilla came in and Neil was making dinner and Rachel was paying bills. Rachel said "He's better at that, and I'm better at this".

Rachel had two credit cards.

Neil and Rachel had an arrangement with Joe and Priscilla for $350 per month plus some food for the house, plus any food that Lillian ate.

December 2005, Rachel and Neil rented a house for a year. They started moving in, January 2006, the first Saturday.

Priscilla identifies a photo of the house.

Was Neil working during that time? No - he was looking for work though. Started looking in early December of '05.

He was looking for a job in computer engineering up near in the "technology belt". He had one interview for a job.

She was home when Neil left near 6-6:30 am, he was home by 1-2 PM. He didn't have much to say about the interview, who it was with, the people or the place. She didn't speak with Neil about it and he didn't bring it up.

Into early January of 2006, he had interviews scheduled. He had one scheduled for Jan 20, Friday, after they moved into their house.

Joe and his son Anthony helped them move on the 7th. Some things came from Priscilla’s house and a friend offered some household items…couches, etc. They didn’t move in till the 11th because they were waiting for a bed and office furniture to be delivered.

On that Tuesday, Neil was upstairs putting lamps together for the spare bedroom.

The house had a 2 car garage underneath the house. They'd come up into the house into a foyer. Bathroom and small room on that level. Stairs went up to the kitchen and foyer, with living room and family room. Second floor was 4 bedrooms, two full baths and a walk-in closet in the master bedroom. Master bedroom was on top left, if looking at the front.

Neil stayed upstairs to himself, not much to say on that Tuesday. They were there 4-5 hours. They went home together.

She went up to the Hopkinton home the following Tuesday (her day off) with her sister Pam. They wanted to see the house all set up, and Pam wanted to see Rachel and Lillian.

They moved into the home on the 11th and 12th.

Rachel, Lillian and Neil came to Joe and Priscilla's house on the 16th (MLK day), because Neil needed to use the computer to fill some orders and their house didn't have phones or computer lines yet.

Neil was upstairs in the office over the garage using his laptop.

Rachel was downstairs with Lillian - they were making lunch, feeding the baby, talking. Had late lunch at 2-3 pm.

They left at 5 pm. Neil was distant. He left without saying goodbye.

On the 17th was when she went to the Hopkinton house with her sister Pam. From 9-9:30 - till 5/6 pm.

They had lunch together. The women stayed, talked, played with Lillian.

Neil had lunch with them but was mostly downstairs in the office area because the phone lines were being installed.

The ladies went downstairs so Pam could see the house.

It wasn't set up yet - just boxes, computer equipment, wires, small hand tools.

On Friday Joe stopped by Rachel’s house to have lunch. Priscilla and Joe spent the evening at home and had no phone calls from Rachel. On Saturday, Priscilla had plans to meet with Rachel.

Priscilla and Theresa left for Hopkinton at 11:30. Rachel didn’t come out to greet them. Priscilla received no answer at the door. She could hear the dog barking.

She went to the back of the house and looked through the sliders and couldn’t see anything. All the doors were locked.

She called the house and left a message. Then called Joe to see if Joe had heard from Rachel.

She drove around for a while and then went back to the house around 2:30. She left a note and asked Rachel to call.

Priscilla then returned home. She never received any phone calls from Rachel or Entwistle.

JoAnna Gately called Priscilla. She was at the house for a dinner party and no one was home.

Priscilla called the police and asked them to check the house.

On Sunday, Priscilla spoke to JoAnna again, then she and Joe left for Rachel’s house.

JoAnna and her sister Maureen were at the house and then Theresa and her family arrived.

Priscilla and Joe stayed outside in their car. They went to the police station at 5:30pm and filed a missing person report on Rachel, Neil and Lillian.

They were at the police station for 7 hours. Police told them what happened to Rachel and Lillian. They left the police station at 1:30.

Police arrived that week and removed Joe’s guns and Priscilla’s computer.

The following week, police took DNA swabs from them.

Funeral arrangements were made on January 26th. The wake was held January 31. The funeral was February 1. Entwistle did not attend.

Ms Page on cross-

Rachel didn’t live in the house with you and Joe. Yes she did.
Did she live there or just visit?
She had her own room with her own things.

Rachel was finishing school in England.

You told us about how Neil and Rachel met, Yes.

Then Neil and Rachel decided to move in together. After she got her teaching certificate.

You met Neil prior to their marriage. Yes, twice.

The first time was Christmas? Yes.

Anytime Rachel and Neil were visiting you, the seemed happy and in love. Yes.

He was shy and reserved? I wouldn’t say that.

When Rachel was in the UK, Neil and she set up a website. A personal website, yes.

They put up pictures of the baby? Yes.

They put up pictures of vacations or special occasions? Yes.

After Lillian was born, Neil was an active participant in raising Lilly. Yes.

Some of Rachel and Neil had friends from the UK come over for the wedding? Yes.

They had a good network of friends over in the UK. Yes.

When you went to visit Rachel and Neil and Lillian, the visit was very pleasant? Yes.

Neil was working during that time. Sometimes he was home, sometimes he was at work.

Priscilla spoke with Rachel 2-3 times per week.

In coming here, Rachel and Neil thought Neil would have a better job opportunity here? Yes.

They had a car and a very nice apartment in the UK? It was modest.

Rachel’s first month here was a difficult transition. No, she was here with her family.

She didn’t have her English friends here? No.

She didn’t have a car when she got here? No.

She had to depend on you for transportation? Yes.

Sally, Rachel’s dog and Cassie, Priscilla’s dogs didn’t get along? Correct, they could be outside together.

Court breaks for lunch.

Some extra info:

Court Schedule: Mon, Tues, Thurs, Friday 9 am - 1 pm

2 pm to 4-4:30 pm (usually 4 except if there is a witness testifying and they want to continue, but not after 4:30)

Lunch - 1 - 2 pm__15 min break around 11am - no afternoon breaks

(She didn't mention Wednesday but Beth Karas had said Wednesdays will be 1/2 days.)

Coverage can be seen at:


Updated - Afternoon session

Page continues with Priscilla Matterrazo cross

Let’s go back to the time that Rachel was in England.

Rachel went to England in 1999.

So, Rachel only stayed in the Carver house for a few months and then when she came to visit? Correct.

So you went to visit Rachel after the birth of Lillian. Yes.

Rachel and Neil were very social with their friends? Yes.

If I mention the name Dasch, he was a very good friend? Yes.

So, the entire group of friends in England they were all very close, but you didn’t know all of them? I met many of them.

When Rachel came back to the US with Lillian, she didn’t have a car? Yes.

So she couldn’t go out much by herself? She didn’t have a car.

One of her close friends was JoAnna Gately? Yes.

She came every week? Every week or every other week.

Rachel was thrilled when Neil joined them here? Yes.

Neil didn’t have a US driver’s license and used his passport as identification.

So Rachel drove Neil around? When he first got here, yes.

Page shows Priscilla photos of her home in Carver. Priscilla identifies them.
And, that’s where Neil, Rachel and Lillian lived? Yes.

Priscilla is going over the floor plan of the Carver house.

Rachel’s room was below Priscilla and Joe’s room? It was across half of it.

When Lilly was put down to bed, Rachel would be concerned about people making too much noise and waking the baby? Yes.

The keys to your house, it was clear to Rachel and Neil where they were in the doghouse. They also had their own keys and were free to enter the house when you weren’t there? Yes.

The office over the garage was a separate little place? Yes.

So, you could have privacy up there? Yes.

Neil was not the only person who used the office? You were out of the house all day working? Yes.

So you wouldn’t know how much time Neil spent up there, or Rachel? Correct.

You had a dial up modem on your desktop? I don’t know, I’m not that computer knowledgeable.

Neil and Rachel had a separate table for their computer? Yes.

You had no idea what Neil was doing when he was in the office? Yes.

You didn’t know what Rachel did in that office. Only when she told me what she was doing. Correct.

Now about the guns and the keys to the gun box. There were conversations about the guns? I suppose.

It was common knowledge where the keys were? If someone recognized them.

The guns were kept in your bedroom? Yes.

You would have preferred they were kept elsewhere? Yes.

Your husband and sons and Neil went to the gun club? Yes.

Neil and Rachel had a joint bank account? Yes.

Both names were on the credit cards? Yes.

And the statements came to the house? Yes.

Neil needed to find a job; they needed a car and a house? Yes.

Neil was sending out resumes when he lived at the Carver house? I assume, but don’t know for sure.

There were several calls on the answering machine concerning employment for Neil? You took notes of the messages? They said they were responding to a call from Neil. They didn’t say anything about a job.

There were two calls in February 2006 from Oxford International about employment for Mr. Entwistle.

You had no reason had to believe Neil would get a job? I had no reason.

You said Rachel brought Neil to your office several times? Yes.

You have no idea whether Neil or Rachel drove to your office. As to who was behind the wheel, no.

Rachel and Neil paid $350 a month to stay at the Carver house and contribute to the added expenses of the household. Yes.

Neil took good care of Lillian. He dressed her, fed her, played with her? Yes.

Neil would often do the cooking for the house and clean up the dishes, take the trash out? Yes.

Neil and Rachel were happy about the BMW and you were happy for them? Yes.

They were concerned how to pay the lease; you had a discussion at the dinner table. You were asked about co-signing the lease? Joe did the same thing for his son? I don’t know that.

When they found the house in Hopkinton, they wanted to live there in the technology belt? Yes they thought it would be good for Neil’s employment.

It’s a large house? Yes.

They bought furniture? A bed and a desk, yes.

They got end tables, an entertainment center, the desk, the chairs? Yes.
They bought stuff they needed, nothing extravagant? Yes.

People got together to help them move? Yes.

On MLK day, Neil Rachel and Lillian were in your house? Yes.

They were there because Neil needed to use the computer to get some orders out? Yes, that’s what I was told.

Neil worked in the garage office on that day, right? Yes.

You said that Neil didn't say goodbye that day, right? Yes.

But you didn't think anything of that at the time? Actually at the time I did.

But they were trying to get out to miss rush hour traffic, right? Could be, yes.

But at that time you didn't tell the detectives you had concerns about that, right? Yes

When you and your sister went to Hopkinton the next day, they were still unpacking? Yes.

All of you were doing things around the house to get it in order? No, that day we mostly visited.

When you left that day, everything seemed fine? Yes.

On the 19th, the phone call about having lunch that Saturday, Neil was in the background? Yes.

So it wasn’t a secret that you were having lunch? No.

When you filed the missing persons report, did you call the Entwistle’s to let them know you were concerned about Neil, Rachel and Lillian? No.

As far as you knew, Neil was a loving husband, loving father? A trusted, son-in-law? Yes.

You have no knowledge of Neil being violent? No.

Fabbri redirect

Joe moved in with you in 1994? Yes.

Rachel was 15.

Joe developed a very loving relationship with Rachel and Jerome, Rachel’s brother.

The homes in England you visited, how do they compare to the Hopkinton home. They are much smaller and modest.

When they moved to Carver, they had friends and relatives? Yes.

Did they socialize? Yes.

Rachel used your computer? Yes.

Did you ever see Rachel use the laptop? No.

The furniture they bought, was that for cash or credit? Credit.

How much time would Rachel spend taking care of Lilly and doing the mother stuff? She would do most of it.

Page, re-cross

Neil and Rachel also had a BMW in the UK? Yes.

The socializing with friend wasn’t going out? They would go out to eat.

You don’t know how involved Rachel was with Neil in the business? You mean because I wasn’t home? That’s right. I guess so.

Rachel would use the laptop to get to the internet? I don’t know.

Priscilla steps down.

Next witness: Theresa Pratt

She is a nurse. Priscilla and Theresa were friends in high school and are very close.

Theresa met Rachel when she was 5 years old. Rachel and Theresa’s daughter were best friends.

Theresa attend Rachel’s wedding.
She knew Neil and Rachel to be a loving couple.

She saw Neil, Rachel and Lilly in January when they came to pick up some furniture.

At the time Neil said he worked with computers. She didn’t really understand what he did, but he was one of 3 persons in the world that could do the specific work.

On January 21st she and Priscilla drove to Rachel’s home to visit.

They didn’t find anybody home. They rang the bell several times. Knocked on the back door. The doors were all locked.

They made several phone calls to Rachel, but never reached her.

They stood out by the car for a while for about 2 hours. They left and rode around the neighborhood for about 5 minutes then drove back to the house.

They stayed for about 30 minutes and made more phone calls. Theresa saw a light on the top floor, Priscilla said that was Rachel’s bedroom.

They left a note for Rachel and went to get something to eat. They left for the Carver home around 4pm.

That night, Theresa and Priscilla spoke by phone.

They spoke again on Sunday morning. Theresa and her family went back to the Hopkinton home. Priscilla and Joe were there as well as JoAnna.

They drove around for an hour and a half looking for the family.

She and Priscilla spoke around 5 or 6 the evening.

They spoke again around midnight and Priscilla was very upset and sad.

Page on cross

Did you ever visit Neil and Rachel in the UK? No.

So you only knew Neil from his visits here? Yes.

You didn’t understand what Neil did with computers for work? Correct.

The lunch date on Saturday was pre-planned? Correct.

You were there 2 to 3 hours? Yes.

Neil and Rachel were in a loving relationship? Yes.

Neil was a devoted father? Yes.

No further questions.

Next witness: Laureen Mahoney, she works with Priscilla. She works reception.

She knows Joe, he stops in 2-3 times a week.

She met Rachel about 9 years ago in the office. Rachel would come by once a week.

She identifies Neil Entwistle. She has met Neil several times at the office with Rachel and Lillian.

Friday the 20th she saw Priscilla and Joe at the office. She did not see or take any phone calls from Neil or Rachel that day.

Page on cross

You all shared a lot of information with each other in the office? Yes.
Information about families? Yes.

Rachel and Priscilla spoke on the phone? Yes.

Several times a day? Yes.

You always saw Neil and Rachel as a loving couple? Yes.

You have no idea who drove the car to the office when you saw Rachel and Neil? No.

No more questions.

Next witness: Margaret (missed last name), she also worked with Priscilla.

She considered Priscilla a very dear friend. She has met Joe at the office. He would stop to chat, have lunch.

She knew Rachel for 12 years. She met Neil at the office in 2006 and has met him several other times at the office.

She identifies Neil Entwistle in court.

Neil was always with Rachel and Lillian when he came to the office.

Nothing further.

Page on cross

When Neil came by, he was never alone? Yes.

You have no idea who drove when they came to the office? No.

You were questioned about January 20th by police and the prosecution as to whether you saw Joe that day? I don’t recall.

No further questions.

Next witness: Lloyde Cooke, he works construction. Priscilla is his sister.

He sees Joe and Priscilla every couple weeks. He also belongs to the gun club. They would go shooting almost every weekend with Joe’s sons.

He met Neil Entwistle at Rachel’s wedding. He probably saw Neil 5 or 6 times, twice at the gun club.

He got along with Rachel and Lillian. He says the relationship between Rachel and Neil appeared to be loving.

When Rachel was living at Carver, Lloyde says everyone got a long fine.

Cooke says Neil handled the firearms well. Neil was shown how to load the guns.

January 21st, did you go to the club? Yes.

What time? Around noon.

He didn’t meet up with Joe, but did see his truck.

February 2006, did you meet with Det. John Porter? Yes.

Cooke provided a mouth swab.

Court is adjourned till Monday at 9am.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Thanks Sprocket, Ritanita and Intrepid for your help!


Sprocket said...

Another link to watch the trial, local NBC station, WHDH channel 7. There are two video views going on at the same time. Thanks to LinZbee for the link.

Cut and paste the entire two line URL into your browser.