June 26, 2008

Entwistle sentenced to life without parole for murders

Posted: 10:19 AM ET

WOBURN, Massachusetts–Neil Entwistle, now convicted of murdering his wife, Rachel, 27, and infant daughter in their Massachusetts home on January 20, 2006, was sentenced this morning to life in prison without parole.

Judge Diane Kottmyer sent Entwistle to a maximum security prison, where he will serve the sentences for the murders of his family concurrently.

After hearing from 47 witnesses over 12 days, the jury needed less than two days to decide Entwistle's fate by returning guilty verdicts. When the jury entered the courtroom, their faces were solemn and they did not look at the defendant.

An emotionless Entwistle pressed his eyes shut when the verdict was read: he was guilty of the first-degree murder of Rachel Entwistle. He then shook his head no when it was announced that he was also guilty of the first degree murder of baby Lillian.

The defense plans to file an appeal of Entwistle's conviction.

–In Session staff

Filed under: Trials

Share this on:
caukland   June 26th, 2008 10:30 am ET

did anyone else see him smirking and rolling his eyes?

Lynne Gaskell, Uxbridge, MA   June 26th, 2008 10:44 am ET

I hope Neil Entwistle spends the rest of his life at Cedar Junction. It is the prison here in MA where the hard core prisoners are housed. It is what he deserves.

Regina Fields   June 26th, 2008 10:45 am ET

I reside in Ma and there was a question about MCI Cedar Junction. It is a prison in Walpole. It is a prison that is surrounded by walls of horror. I visited the prison over the years and it gives me the chills when I enter the parking lot. It is an old prison and I do not look forward to visiting Walpole Cedar Junction. The prisoners will prey on Entwistle. This is not good at all.

Bill Browne   June 26th, 2008 10:48 am ET

Why are victim impact statements allowed in criminal trials? Should it matter whether the victim were a saint or a sinner? Is the eloquence of surviving friends and family a proper measure upon which to base punishment?

Does this practice not run afoul of our Constitutional guarantees of due process and equal protection of the law?

-Bill, MA

Risha Buchanan, Mississippi   June 26th, 2008 11:28 am ET

I am outraged at Neil Entwistle's mother commenting about Neil's innocense and Rachel being the one who committed murder/suicide. How does she explain Rachel having Lillian wrapped in her arms after as the defense stated – she outstretched her arms to shoot herself in the head. And how does she explain the gun being returned to the stepfather's gun safe in another town. A dead person can't move much less drive to another town to return the murder weapon. The defense states the searches were illegal because Neil didn't give his consent. Well he had every chance to while he was driving to his inlaws after supposedly 'finding' Rachel and Lillian murdered. Come on people, look at this guy – no remorse whatsoever shown. It is a shame he didn't commit this horrendous crime in a state that has the death penalty – he doesn't deserve life in prison, he deserves to die and burn in hell!

Donna Clark   June 26th, 2008 11:37 am ET

Does the defenses appeal based upon the warrantless searches, have merit?

kit boden RN   June 26th, 2008 11:55 am ET

The defense attorney stated that Rachel had to have shot herself and then her baby because she had bruising in her breast, beacuse the bullet passed through the baby and into her. He thought proved the order of the shootings. She was shoot in the head. Her brain could have been dead and stopped its processing , but the heart didn't get the meassage yet. It keeps beating for a short period thereafter, henve the breast bruising. Kit Boden RN

Bonnie   June 26th, 2008 12:01 pm ET

Neil Entwistle's defense makes the claim that Rachel killed the baby then herself because she has GSR on her hands. I believe it is entirely possible that Rachel may have made a grab for the gun at some point and could have easily got GSR on her hands. I am totally disgusted with the defense suggestion that Rachel killed the baby then herself. Yes we have recently had reports of parents killing their children, but I believe this is very unlikely in this case, and if she would have done this, to me it is doubtful she would have killed her baby that way. Maybe the defense should have presented some kind of mental defect defense, because if you look at Neil Entwistle's eyes, there is just nothing there, and that dreadful small little smile he had on his face constantly since they brought him back from England was sickening. Gratefully, that little smirk left when he was found guilty.

Lisa Martin   June 26th, 2008 12:04 pm ET

It is one thing to defend constitional rights of all defendants. After all we could potentially all find ourselves accused of a crime that we did not commit. But please give us all a break, the Evidence that was presented was so overwhelming that Neil Entwistle premediated and killed his wife and daughter that it's shameful for the defense team to whine and blame the police, the prosecution, the judge and even the jury for the obvious gullt of their client. If they didn't like what the prosecution was presenting then the defense team should have done their job and presented evidence that it was a murder/suicide. Stop your posturing and accept the reality that Neil Enwistle is guilty as charged.

Brenda Ridenour   June 26th, 2008 12:33 pm ET

I'm sorry, but the defense lawyers are wrong. I never heard one single thing about this case until the trial started and was aired on TruTV. And, if I had been on the jury, I would have voted to find him guilty, too. I had absolutely no pretrial prejudice. And it isn't that I didn't hear and consider the defense's evidence. I just believe, with all my heart, that the evidence of his guilt is overwhelming.

Ron Kaltenbach   June 26th, 2008 12:37 pm ET

There is overwhelming circumstantial evidence that Entwistle killed his wife and child.

The gunshot residue could have come to be on his wife's hands as she put her hands toward the gun as he was firing it at her and as he fired on his child. His computer activity, his fleeing, and his failure to call the police when he "supposedly" discovered the bodies points directly to him. I don't see the search issue as a problem. The police have a responsibility to respond to checking on the "well being" of a person that someone believes is having a serious problem, such as not responding to continued efforts to contact them.

Tired of hearing the defense whine about this case. Weinstein has a mammoth ego. He did not even present a gunshot residue expert to argue his case. I have a JD and worked for defense firms right after law school, so I do appreciate the importance of defending a client. The defense just failed to do their job in this case, but that would have been difficult with all the circumstantial evidence against their client in this case.

Theresa   June 26th, 2008 12:41 pm ET

The Defense is set on the murder/suicide theory because of gunpowder residue on Rachel's hands. I know the Defense team heard the same thing I did when the expert witness said that the gunpowder can go over a certain area. Well, did the defense team think that Rachel has gunpowder residue on her hands because she was sheilding her and Lilly from Neil while he was holding a gun on them. I think he was guilty.

Sandra from Moscow PA   June 26th, 2008 12:45 pm ET

The defense case and Neil's parents remarks: Rachel killed Lily Rose then shot herself in the head, and Neil came home and found them, he took the gun back to her parents home to preserve her honor. My question to Stephanie is "Neil said he did not have a key to the house on the car ring, HOW did the gun get back in it's case if Neil never went inside the home?"

Mary   June 26th, 2008 1:07 pm ET

Why didn't the defense put Entwistle's mother on the stand if she knew or said she knew Rachel was depressed. Would she not have been a great defense witness. I thought her statement yesterday was sickening..........

Jessica   June 26th, 2008 1:07 pm ET

I find it absolutely disgusting that the defense is continuing to paint a portrait of Rachael as a murderer. I'm upset by it and I'm not even her family! I can't imagine how that makes them feel.
Neil got what he deserved and I hope his last thoughts are of this trial every night as he falls asleep.

Tammie   June 26th, 2008 1:27 pm ET

I don't think Neil should be allowed to serve his sentence with his Mommie because Rachacel's Mom won't ever see her or Lillian ever again.

ms judie   June 26th, 2008 1:31 pm ET

It is apparent to me that it is unwise to commit a crime in Boston. It started with Martha Cokley and her press conference announcing Entwistle did it and finished with Gerry Leone patting himself ont he back in front of SUPPORTERS. Why does it appear to be nothing but a political campaign speech.
Did Entwistle do it.......I'm not totally convinced yet, but many minds were made up before trial began. Perhaps there was to much pre trial info given out , and not enough shared within the system

kathy   June 26th, 2008 1:32 pm ET

Will this trial affect the defense attorney's career?

Kathryn   June 26th, 2008 1:36 pm ET

I feel the defense was wrong to point a finger at Rachel. They would have done better to repeatedly point to reasonable doubt. To vilify the victim was reprehensible. This " so-called " loving husband allowed his lawyer to use this to try to save himself. And now his family saying this in the media, they can say they believe in their son without defaming Rachel.

Theo   June 26th, 2008 1:40 pm ET

I was disturbed by Entwistle's mother's comment after this was over.Sure you want to think your murderer son is innocent but to go on record to say that the poor victim MURDERED her baby then herself when the evidence is in front of her face. Then to hope baby Lillian rests in peace but not Rachel is unforgivable! Bet Neil wont rest in piece anytime soon. Well, he was dissatisfied with his sex life before, hope he likes it better in the coming weeks and years!

Margaret Lynch   June 26th, 2008 1:47 pm ET

Neil Entwistle stated that he "found" himself at the airport. He must have had his passport with him, as even though he is a Brit, he had to show it to enter the U.K.

Larry   June 26th, 2008 1:48 pm ET

im certainly glad Mr. N. Entwistle got life in prison, however how did they put the gun in Mr.N. Entwistle's hand. they talk about gun residue but nothing about putting the gun in his hand!.

Larry, California

cuddlesmcgavin   June 26th, 2008 1:49 pm ET

The jury came back with a just verdict and i commend them for rejecting Whinestein's 11th hour bashing & trashing of Rachel with the accusation that she is responsible and not the coward who ran off to England on a one way ticket.

Also any sympathy i felt for Neil's parents went right out the window when they also trashed Rachel after the verdicts If Neil's mother knew Rachel was depressed then why in the heck didn't she get on the stand and under oath tell that to the jury. Maybe it's because she knew she would be commiting Perjury had she done so.

I was moved by Rachel's brother who shared with the court his story of when Rachel who in kindergarden was put on the wrong bus after school and how he......being protective of his little sister.searched for her.

My heart goes out to Rachel's mother, step father and her entire family for what they have been through and will go through without Rachel & Lillian in their lives. Much love to them.

Lynne Reese   June 26th, 2008 1:55 pm ET

I laid in bed last night with my four year old and two year old daughters. When they finally closed their eyes, I was able to watch the Entwistle verdict. Holding them on each side of me, I quietly wept realizing that Rachel and Lillian would never again sleep as we were. I cannot think of a worse fate. I know that she loved her daughter as much as I do mine. The verdict is just.

Jackie   June 26th, 2008 2:20 pm ET

Boy, the look on Neil's face when they announced he was guilty was almost chilling. There was total disgust in his eyes and he portrayed this picture of a spoiled rotten bully that has never been told no. I wonder if he treated Rachel like that??

Sonia   June 26th, 2008 2:33 pm ET

This is a comment I posted to Jami's last word:

"Jami, I agree with you when you say:

"This is where we really have to fight for the fundamental American premise: innocent until proven guilty."

Doesn't Rachel have the same right? Where is the proof that she killed her baby and herself? Since there is no proof, how could the defense and Neil's parents accuse her?"

Betty   June 26th, 2008 2:56 pm ET

I get so mad weh I hear the mother of Neil Entwistle saying Rachel killed her granddaughter. I hope she returns to England quickly!

Larry   June 26th, 2008 2:56 pm ET

im certainly glad Mr. N. Entwistle got life in prison, however how did they put the gun in Mr.N. Entwistle’s hand. they talk about gun residue but nothing about putting the gun in his hand!.

Larry, California

Amy   June 26th, 2008 3:00 pm ET

It renews my faith in the justice system that the jury in this trial saw through the ludacris "suicide theory" presented by the defense...which quite frankly offended my sensibilities. It was a last-minute hail-Mary defense with no evidence, witnesses or experts to back it up. But what angers me the most is the fact that the Entwistles continue to rub salt in the wounds of the victim's family with their inflammatory statements on the courthouse steps...If Mrs. Entwistle had first-hand knowledge that Rachel was depressed why did she not get up on the witness stand in her son's defense and say so on the record? But then again it must be hard to come to grips with the fact that your son is a cold-blooded killer..

kay elms   June 26th, 2008 3:36 pm ET

In reference to the defense attorney's assertation "the breast is a mass of non-feeling nerve endings..." – he obviously has never had a mammogram. If he had, he would know how terribly painful they are.

In reference to the remarks by the defendant's mother – I totally see how Entwistle has the kind of character to commit these heinious acts – he obviously inheriented the traits from his mother. What kind of mother "knows" her daughter-in-law is depressed and does not alert her family or friends to this very serious condition? What kind of mother then sits through the trial of her son (who she "knows" is innocent) and never comes forward to testify on his behalf? CNN should send a reporter to the UK to interview past teachers, coaches and friends. I will bet anything you will find out exactly why this person became the man he is today and standing behind him will be his mother.

Mauri Cardona   June 26th, 2008 9:02 pm ET

He was found guilty of both the murders. I don't think life without parole is a just sentence. The Judge should have ran the sentences consecutive. A person who can commit this kind of act and on top of that then throw the blame on the woman he killed is a coward to say the least. Then his mother says all the bad things she said about Rachael shows you where he got his ugly side. You know she was making these things up. Rot in prison. Great job on the prosecution of him. Courtside covered this trial in a very good way. All the anchors were great. Thanks Mauri

Michelle from Colorado   June 26th, 2008 9:18 pm ET

I could never fully understand how anyone could kill their child or spouse. I could never be told enough about this guy to picture what he must have been thinking whether he just picked up a gun one day and shot them or thought about it and just finally did it. But I do know he deserves to rot in jail for what he did. If he has any shred of a conscience, he will feel remorse one day and know there is no way out of his sentence besides killing himself or letting God do it for him. The best prison in the world is the prison of the mind shut up behind bars. One prison contains your body. The other contains your soul .

Mark   June 26th, 2008 10:31 pm ET

Dearest Neil,
Sorry to hear your recent visit to our side of the pond didn't go as well as you had hoped for! Then again when you slaughter innocent victims (including a 9 month old baby you diseased, scum-sucking, sorry excuse for a human being) ya gotta pay the piper! We were able to secure you world-class accomendations for the final leg of your visit to the states. Of course we did have to go with the 2 person, double occupancy option to keep your costs down. But have no fear my friend your prospective roommate, Bubba Bangalot, is so looking forward to personally welcoming you. He told me that he hopes everything'll work out in the end. So as the Brits say my boy; "keep a stiff upper lip!"
Oh please let your parents know that the definition of a "fair trial" is exactly what you got old chum. The taxpayers of Massachusetts footed the bill for your defense and for the next forty to fifty years they'll being paying the electric bill as well, though it'd be cheaper if the Bay State had the electric chair as an option. We hope that Mommy and Daddy both get help for their psychiatric ills. They have been having these episodes of delusion where they believe you didn't get a fair trial. I hope that each night before you go to sleep you'll see the smiling, loving faces of Rachel and Lillian and have their memory forever emblazened into your psyche.

And this surprises who?   June 27th, 2008 9:16 am ET

I understand defending people, becaue we all presume innocence until the case is heard... and I understand his parents having a hard time comprehending that their son could do such a thing. I have no problem with the verdict, I would have been very surprised at a different outcome. I do, however, have problems with his parents claiming he did not get a fair trial and with claiming they 'knew' she was depressed but not getting up in court under oath and stating the same. Regardless of who made the decision not to present defensive evidence, they should have continued to show decency. Their final actions and statements severely harm how the public perceives them.

Joyce   June 27th, 2008 11:16 am ET

Glad they put him away where he belongs and threw away the key. You have to be pretty cold hearted to shoot a baby.

Allison McNeely   June 30th, 2008 1:53 pm ET

People like Walker are allowed to bully victims and are not held accountable for their actions because it's considered petty. I'm sure that Krause didn't consider what happened to her as being petty. I'm glad this prosecutor decided it was worthwhile to stand up against Walker's aggressive and hostile behavior!

Pat   July 3rd, 2008 8:14 am ET

I'm a dad, and this man needs so much to be put away. Shame on not having the death penalty. The monster shook his head 'no' when the verdict was read on his murder of his child, because he was asking himself "why" he did this? I hope the picture of what he did will remain imbedded in his mind every second of his life.
He has no or ever!

Phyllis Huguenin   July 9th, 2008 12:32 pm ET

In my opinion, the partners at the accounting firm contributed very heavy to the problem. When the partner, Mr Klein, was on the stand he stated that the defendent told him that he was going through mental health problems when he returned to work. Knowing this, nobody should of even considered firing Mr Lacalmita! Some of the partners decided that they wanted him gone before he returned to work, because he was sick and not producing. I'm an Int'l Tax Accountant, and you cannot even begin to understand the amount of stress there is at tax time.

Dan Matheny   July 11th, 2008 7:12 pm ET

someone tell mr. dobbs hes really stretching on the spin he is using ,and quite obviously, in relation to the spanish language comment by barak this week. Thank you, i have liked him but i think hes really getting a big head on him and getting a little outa control. I believe it could backfire on him for an attempt for ratings. Thank you. I just want good news not spin as i think most americans do. I love jack by the way.

Max the Micro Niche Finder   March 24th, 2009 2:32 am ET

Hiya, i have seen your site when searching a few weeks ago and i really love the design! I just bought a new 3 character domain (cost me a packet) for a niche review blog, and i was wondering if your design is a free or paid one? I'm new to WordPress and about to set it up, and i would really like to get something with a similar look to yours. Any ideas where i could download or buy something similar? Thanks for your help! :)

subscribe RSS Icon
About this blog

 This is your online home for In Session on truTV’s up-to-the minute, comprehensive coverage of legal issues, trials and news from America’s courtrooms.  Our anchors, analysts and producers are teaming up here to give you updates on the stories that matter to you.

Be sure to tune in to In Session on truTV from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. ET.

On Twitter
Rush vs. the Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame, in (just) under 1,200 words: #HiCanada #Rush via @JonFromHLN
Twitter icon HLNTV 4:32 pm ET October 4, 2012 RETWEET
RT @hlnmakingit: We're talking about last night's #debate and tomorrow's jobs report! Tune in to @HLNTV now
Twitter icon HLNTV 4:14 pm ET October 4, 2012 RETWEET
Now on #HLN: RT @hlnmakingit: Having fun today w our #Obama & #Romney cut-outs. Play our game 'who said that' at 4p
Twitter icon HLNTV 4:00 pm ET October 4, 2012 RETWEET
RT @DarrenKavinoky: RT @DarrenKavinoky: Getting ready to dig into the toxicology issues in the #MillionaireDUI Case. Join us at @InSession on @truTV!
Twitter icon InSession 1:36 pm ET October 4, 2012 RETWEET
Philadelphia top cop says he plans to fire officer who struck parade-goer. READ MORE:
Twitter icon InSession 1:27 pm ET October 4, 2012 RETWEET
Contact us