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British man convicted of killing wife, daughter

A British man who fled the U.S. after his wife and baby daughter were shot to death in their home was convicted on Wednesday of murdering them.
/ Source: The Associated Press

A British man who fled the U.S. after his wife and baby daughter were shot to death in their home was convicted on Wednesday of murdering them.

Neil Entwistle, 29, was charged with fatally shooting his wife, Rachel, 27, and daughter, Lillian Rose, in their Boston-area home in January 2006.

Prosecutors said Entwistle killed the two because he was dissatisfied with his sex life, and despondent about not being able to find a job and wanted to start a new life.

Entwistle claimed his wife killed their 9-month-old child, then committed suicide.

Jurors started deliberations Tuesday and told the judge they had reached a verdict after 2 p.m. Wednesday.

'Two sides of Neil Entwistle'
The couple had just moved into their rented home and appeared to be happy and madly in love with their daughter, according to numerous witnesses who testified during the three-week trial.

But prosecutor Michael Fabbri said evidence pointed to "the two sides of Neil Entwistle," including his visits to Internet sex sites in the days and weeks before the slayings.

A defense attorney told the jury that Rachel Entwistle shot the baby and committed suicide and that Neil Entwistle covered up her actions to "protect her honor."

Fabbri dismissed the defense theory, noting that the couple had recently returned to the United States so Rachel could be near her family in Massachusetts. The couple had lived in England for several years before that.

"Why would Rachel commit suicide?" Fabbri asked.

"She was back home, she had her home, she had her car, she had her family, and she thought she had a loving husband," he said.

Defense attorney Elliot Weinstein, said police failed to consider suicide because they immediately focused on Entwistle as a suspect when he flew home to England the day after the killings.

Entwistle told police he returned home from running errands on Jan. 20, 2006, and found his wife and daughter cuddled together in bed, dead from apparent gunshot wounds.

"Neil found Rachel and Lillian dead. Neil saw that (.22-caliber gun) and knew instantly what happened, and in those moments, he knew what he had to do," Weinstein said.

Suicide theory
Weinstein said Entwistle returned the gun to the home of his father-in-law, Joseph Matterazzo, so his wife's family would not know she had committed suicide. Police later determined that Matterazzo's .22-caliber handgun was used in the killings.

"Everything that Neil did after finding Rachel and Lillian in that bedroom, he did because he loved them," Weinstein said.

But Fabbri said the suicide theory "does not make commonsense." Holding the long-barreled gun before the jury, Fabbri said that in order to find suicide credible, the jury would have to believe that Rachel Entwistle shot her baby through the chest, had that bullet lodge in her own breast, then raise the gun over her head and shoot herself at the top of her head, just beyond her hairline.

"It could not have happened the way they said it did," Fabbri said.

Fabbri told jurors that it may be difficult for them to comprehend how a man could kill his wife and baby daughter. But he urged the jury to consider a string of failures in Entwistle's life in the months before the killings.

After moving to Massachusetts, Entwistle was unable to find a job and had several Internet-based businesses fail. He had been looking for sex online through Web sites for escort services and a swingers' site called

Weinstein said Entwistle had no motive to kill his wife and daughter, and said the Web sites he visited are used by millions of people every day.