Saturday, 2:15 PM
Prosecutor: Entwistle checked sex website after slayings
By Franci R. Ellement, Globe Correspondent, and Andrew Ryan, Globe Staff
WOBURN -- Prosecutors won a victory in Neil Entwistle's double-murder trial today when a judge ruled they can present computer evidence to the jury that they say shows a pattern of Internet use that included trolling for sex sites and searches about how to kill with a knife.
The evidence discussed this morning with the jury out of the courtroom included a detail never before revealed in the highly publicized case in Middlesex Superior Court. Prosecutor Daniel J Bennett said records show that Entwistle logged onto the website Adult Friend Finder shortly after he killed his wife and infant daughter.
Prosecutors have presented evidence that Rachel Entwistle, 27, and 9-month-old Lillian Rose were shot and killed in their Hopkinton home between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. on Jan. 20, 2006. Some time after 11 a.m., Bennett said, Neil Entwistle went on the Internet and visited Adult Friend Finder, a website used to search for sexual partners.
When testimony resumed this morning, a State Police chemist told the jury that investigators found Entwistle's DNA on the grip of the .22-caliber revolver that the prosecution alleges was used to shoot the victims. Laura Bryant said investigators matched DNA on the grip to genetic material taken from the mouth of a water bottle found in Entwistle's white BMW, which was left parked at Logan International Airport. The probability that the DNA belonged to another Caucasian male was one in 1.52 trillion, Bryant said.
The gun belonged to Joseph Matterazzo, Entwistle's father-in-law, who handled the weapon the day after the killings, before the bodies were discovered, the prosecutor said. Matterazzo's DNA was found on the trigger, Bryant said. The prosecution alleges that Entwistle stole the gun from Matterazzo's home in Carver and returned it after committing the crime. The defense has pointed out that Entwistle went target shooting with Matterazzo twice in the months before the killings and used his guns.
Bryant also testified that sperm found on the body of Rachel Entwistle belong to her husband, an indication that the couple had sex some time before she was killed.
The computer evidence that prosecutors intend to introduce includes records showing that Entwistle trolled the Internet for "half-priced escorts" on Jan. 16, four days before the killings. They also plan to tell the jury about his account on Adult Friend Finder. Prosecutors said that Entwistle accessed the webpage under the user name "ent," and they plan to show the jury the times and dates he used the site. Judge Diane Kottmyer largely limited the evidence to computer use the week of the slayings, but she made at least one exception.
Rachel Entwistle, 27, and Lillian Rose
Prosecutors intend to show that Entwistle first logged on to Adult Friend Finder on Aug. 12, 2006, while he was still living in England and packing up the family's apartment. At the time, Rachel Entwistle had already moved to her parents' home in Carver and was waiting for her husband to join her in the United States.
"Presenting that evidence would refute statements that Rachel Entwistle knew what was going on on the Internet," Bennett said.
Defense attorney Elliot Weinstein had argued that the sexually charged details were immaterial and could unfairly prejudice the jury. "The evidence in this case will show that there was nothing but a loving relationship between Neil and Rachel Entwistle," Weinstein said when the motions were first argued late last month.
A forensic analysis of Entwistle's computer found that he spent time on a pornographic website and appeared to be looking for local escorts, according to documents filed in court. When he was arrested in England in February 2006, Entwistle was carrying a page torn from a local tabloid containing hundreds of ads for "escorts and sexual services" and a note indicating he was trying to make contact with a former girlfriend, according to the documents.
Prosecutors are trying to depict Entwistle as a despondent, broke, sex-obsessed man dissatisfied with his marriage. They say he spent the days before the crime doing computer searches about how to "kill with a knife" and "quick suicide methods," according to documents filed by the Middlesex district attorney's office.
Also today, two long-time friends of Entwistle's from college testified about what he had told them in England about his actions on the day his wife and child were killed. And there were key discrepancies between the stories Entwistle told them, according to the testimony.
He told one friend, for example, that after discovering the bodies, he went to his father-in-law's house to make sure his gun collection was safe. He told the other friend that he went to his father-in-law's house to get a gun so he could shoot himself.
Entwistle also told both friends that he had immediately notified the police and his in-laws when he found the bodies. Police say he never called them. They say he fled to England a day after the slayings and called his in-laws two days after that.
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