Entwistle In U.S. To Face Murder Rap

Neil Entwistle arrives at Bow Street Magistrates Court in central London, Friday, Feb. 10, 2006 where he faces extradition to the United States to face charges of murdering his wife and daughter. AP

A British man accused of killing his wife and infant daughter in their suburban Boston home arrived in Massachusetts on Wednesday afternoon to face murder charges.

Neil Entwistle's plane landed just before 5:30 p.m. at Hanscom Air Force Base in Bedford, northwest of Boston. Entwistle was handcuffed and wearing leg shackles when he was taken from the plane by state police. He was to be taken to the Hopkinton police station for booking.

Entwistle, 27, left London's Gatwick Airport earlier Tuesday in the custody of U.S. marshals and stopped briefly in Bangor, Maine, to pass through U.S. Customs.

Entwistle is scheduled to be arraigned at 2 p.m. Thursday in Framingham District Court on two counts of first-degree murder in the shooting deaths of his wife, Rachel, 27, and 9-month-old daughter Lillian on Jan. 20.

There will be extra security when Neil Entwistle is arraigned at the district courthouse in Framingham, Mass., reports Christina Hager of CBS station WBZ-TV in Boston.

Entwistle was handed over the custody of U.S. Marshals at Gatwick Airport at 9:25 a.m. EST, London's Metropolitan Police said.

"We understand that he is returning to the U.S. on a private flight," a police statement said.

Home Secretary Charles Clarke signed an order Friday afternoon authorizing the return of Entwistle to face charges in Massachusetts, following an extradition request from U.S. authorities.

Legal experts tell Hager the evidence that has been made public so far against Entwistle is overwhelming. Not only do authorities say his DNA was found on the murder weapon, along with that of his wife but, they say, he never called 911, and fled to England the day after the murders.

Boston defense attorney Elliot M. Weinstein was appointed Wednesday to represent Entwistle in the Massachusetts courts. He was assigned to the case by the Committee for Public Counsel Services, a state agency that pairs private attorneys with indigent defendants.

"His family is unable to afford counsel in Massachusetts," said CPCS chief counsel William Leahy.

Weinstein told The Associated Press that he was concerned that Entwistle would be unable to get a fair trial because of the international publicity surrounding the case.

"I have not met my client, but this is the impression that I get because of the media blitz created," he said.

Entwistle flew to London the day after the shootings. He agreed to voluntarily return to the United States during a court appearance last Thursday. His lawyers said he wished to avoid any "additional distress" to the family of his late wife or to his own parents.

  • Melissa McNamara

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