“Our dreams as a parent and grandparent have been shattered by the shameful, selfish act of one person, Neil Entwistle.”
Victim-impact statement from Rachel’s family read to Middlesex Superior Court at Neil Entwistle’s sentencing. BBC News Online, 25 June 2008
Neil Entwistle’s trial begins in courtroom 430 at the Middlesex Superior Court on 2 June 2008. He is on trial for his life: the charges are first degree murder of his wife Rachel and 9-month-old daughter, Lillian Rose. He denies all charges.
Michael Fabbri, Assistant District Attorney, leads the court through the case against Entwistle. During the course of the trial, the prosecutor brings over forty witnesses before the court, taking 12 days to set out their case. The defence rests without putting any witnesses on the stand.
Entwistle does not give evidence in his own defence; the only time the court hears his voice is in a recording the police conversation makes between Neil and Sgt. Manning. Entwistle’s reaction to the news that Rachel and Lillian’s deaths are being treated as foul play surprises the detective: “OK” says the newly bereaved husband and father.
The court hears compelling witness testimony. In a haunting day of evidence from Rachel’s step-father, Joe Matterazzo, he tells the jury how in conversation about funeral arrangements in the days after the murders, Entwistle asks that Rachel and Lillian Rose be buried together, “Because that’s the way I left them...”
Rachel's stepfather reports another troubling thing to come up his conversation with the newly bereaved Neil: "I don't know how it got this way. I was only gone for a couple of hours. Someone shot them.”
The jury sees crime scene photos and is told that a post-mortem examination found Mrs Entwistle was shot in the forehead at close range and Lillian was killed with a bullet which passed through her abdomen and lodged above her mother's left breast as she cradled her on the bed.
The jury takes two days to find Entwistle guilty of the double murder. He is sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. As with his demeanour throughout the trial, on hearing he will die in prison, Entwistle shows no emotion.