Thursday, 4:30 PM
Entwistle returned to jail
By Jonathan Saltzman, GLOBE STAFF
Nearly three weeks after Neil Entwistle was transferred to Bridgewater State Hospital for a mental health evaluation, medical staff members have determined the murder defendant is not suicidal and let him return Wednesday to the Middlesex County Jail, according to Sheriff James V. DiPaola.
Entwistle, 28, who is accused of fatally shooting his wife and infant daughter in Hopkinton nearly a year ago in one of the most sensational murder cases in recent Massachusetts history, was escorted in manacles to the jail by three sheriff’s deputies.
"He does not appear to be a threat to himself or to others," DiPaola said afterward.
Entwistle, who had been held since Feb. 15 in a cell at the infirmary, will be moved to a special housing unit in the jail where correction officers will watch him around the clock. "There will be a human being outside his cell," said DiPaola.
Entwistle’s lawyer, Elliot M. Weinstein, declined to comment.
Entwistle was transferred to the hospital Dec. 21, the day after two guards spotted a letter in his cell that alarmed them, DiPaola said. Writing to his parents in Worksop, England, the British-born Entwistle said it might be his last letter to them and that he had nothing to live for, DiPaola said.
He also wrote that if he died, he wanted to have his ashes scattered over the graves of his wife, Rachel, and daughter, Lillian.
DiPaola said Entwistle never threatened to kill himself, but prison officials were concerned about depression. Entwistle could have been held 30 days at the hospital, run by the state Department of Correction, but the Bridgewater staff completed the evaluation sooner than expected, the sheriff said.
Entwistle’s next court appearance will be on Jan. 26. His trial is tentatively scheduled for Oct. 1.
He is accused of fatally shooting his wife and daughter in their home on Jan. 20 and taking a flight to England. Authorities arrested him on a London subway nearly three weeks later.