An unemployed British computer programmer accused of killing his wife and infant daughter as they lay in bed in their Massachusetts home agreed Friday to return to the United States to face charges.
Home Secretary Charles Clarke signed an order Friday authorizing the return of Neil Entwistle, 27, to Massachusetts. That cleared the last legal hurdle in Britain and Entwistle could be sent back at any time.
Entwistle, who was arrested in London on Thursday, wished to return to the United States "as soon as possible" to face the charges, his attorney Ben Brandon told a hearing earlier at Bow Street Magistrates Court.
District Judge Anthony Evans told Entwistle that his decision to voluntarily return would be irrevocable.
"Yes, that's right," Entwistle replied. He glanced briefly at his father, Cliff Entwistle, as he signed the form consenting to return.
"He was always inclined to consent," Judith Seddon, another lawyer representing Entwistle, told reporters outside court.
Entwistle could return to the United States very soon now, reports CBS News correspondent Vicki Barker (audio).
"He wants to cooperate with the authorities in any way that he can, and he is anxious that the delay may cause his late wife's family and his own additional distress, something he wishes to avoid," Seddon said. "He believes that he will receive a fair and a proper hearing in the U.S.A. of these very serious allegations."
Entwistle is accused of fatally shooting Rachel Entwistle, 27, and 9-month-old Lillian on Jan. 20.
"He's facing two counts of murder, one for his wife and daughter each. And one count of a firearm possession illegal and one count of illegal possession of ammunition," Middlesex District Attorney Martha Coakley
Coakley said forensic results indicated the .22-caliber handgun used in the killings was from a collection owned by Entwistle's father-in-law. Prosecutors believe Entwistle took the gun from his father-in-law's home, then secretly returned it after the slayings.
Authorities allege Entwistle shot his wife in the head and his daughter in the abdomen as they lay together in bed. The district attorney said it was unclear whether the two were awake or sleeping at the time, but said it may have been intended originally as a murder-suicide, with Entwistle changing his mind at the last moment.
It didn't seem "a conventional domestic violence fight, heat of passion kind of crime scene. It also, however, doesn't indicate someone who had this well planned," Coakley told The Early Show co-anchor Julie Chen.
In Massachusetts on Friday, newly released court documents alleged that Entwistle told police three days after the slayings that he did not kill his wife and daughter, but discovered their bodies and then contemplated suicide.
Entwistle allegedly told Hopkinton Police Sgt. Joseph Bennett in a phone conversation from his parents' home in England that he left the house at 9 a.m. on Jan. 20, returned two hours later and found Rachel and Lillian dead.
Bennett's testimony, contained in an affidavit filed in support of the arrest warrant, claimed Entwistle said he covered up the bodies, then considered using a knife to commit suicide but did not go through with it. He allegedly claimed that he drove to his in-law's home in nearby Carver to get one of his father-in-law's guns to kill himself, but could not get in the home.
The next day, Entwistle flew to London and stayed with his family in Worksop in central England, authorities said.
There is no death penalty in Massachusetts, reports CBS News' Bianca Solorzano. If convicted, Entwistle would face life in prison.
Coakley said Entwistle's finances had deteriorated after the failure of his Internet businesses, which included a Web site that promised customers as much as $6,000 in monthly earnings and another that offered a manual to help men enlarge their penises.
"We do know there were some financial problems for him. He owes money in the United Kingdom. He had not gotten employed in the States. He tried to have some Internet businesses that weren't doing well," Coakley said.
Entwistle had met Rachel Souza, an American, in 1999 at the University of York in England, where she was spending a year abroad. They were married in 2003 and later moved to the United States.
Joe Flaherty, a spokesman for Rachel Entwistle's family, said they know a difficult legal process is just starting.
"Whether (the trial) happens a year from now or a year and a half, nothing is going to bring back Rachel and Lilly Rose," he said.
"It's going to be a long road for them," he added. "There will never really be closure in a case like this."