Page last updated at 00:23 GMT, Saturday, 7 June 2008 01:23 UK

Accused 'had plan to sell story'

Neil Entwistle (Copyright: TRU TV)

Neil loved his wife and Neil loved his daughter - on January 20 he lost them both

Elliot Weinstein

A British man accused of murdering his wife and daughter wrote about selling his story to "the highest bidder", a court in the US has heard.

Prosecutor Michael Fabbri said the notes belonging to Neil Entwistle were found when he was arrested in London.

Mr Entwistle, 29, from Worksop, Nottinghamshire, denies murdering his wife Rachel, 27, and nine-month-old daughter Lillian in January 2006.

Elliot Weinstein, defending, said the Briton loved his wife and was innocent.

However, he warned the jury that the evidence they would hear would be "sordid", as well as "graphic" and "gruesome".

Mr Entwistle's wife and daughter were found shot dead at the family's rented home in Hopkinton, near Boston, Massachusetts.

His trial is being held at Middlesex County Superior Court in Woburn, Massachusetts. He faces life in prison without the possibility of parole, if convicted.

'Loving' relationship

Mr Entwistle, a former IT worker, was arrested in London on 9 February 2006.

The prosecutor told the jury he was found with a notebook in which he had written "how he wants to sell his story to the highest bidder".

On the other side Mr Entwistle had written how he loved his wife and daughter, he said.

Mr Fabbri said the couple had a "loving, nourishing and stable" relationship with his family.

But he said: "There is another side to Neil Entwistle".

Prosecutor Mike Fabbri opens his case

Prosecutors say he had a secret life - that he was thousands of pounds in debt, visited websites offering casual sex, and searched online for ways to kill people and take his own life.

Mr Fabbri said that between late December 2005 and mid January 2006, Mr Entwistle went to a website "a number of times and began exchanging e-mails with females and discussing the possibility of setting up discreet relationships".

The defendant is also said to have searched the internet for information about bankruptcy, "killing and suicide".

After his family's deaths Mr Entwistle flew to the UK on a one-way ticket - to his parents' home in Worksop.

He was arrested at Royal Oak underground station in west London and taken back to the US.

He was also charged with possessing a firearm without a licence and possessing a firearm without a federal ID card.

The jury heard that Mr Entwistle had told police: "After I came and found them in the bed I covered them up."

Neil Entwistle, his wife Rachel and daughter Lillian Rose
The defence team says Mr Entwistle loved his wife and daughter

When asked by police why he did this, Mr Entwistle is said to have replied: "It was like I was closing them off."

Mr Fabbri said the Briton told police he wanted to "kill myself".

Later he told police he had found his family dead, but did not call the police because he panicked.

Mr Fabbri said the Briton did not call the emergency services, and did not attend their funeral, sending flowers instead.

DNA evidence

The court heard that the stepfather of Mr Entwistle's wife, Joseph Matterazzo, had an interest in sports shooting and owned a .22 calibre Colt revolver, which was used in the shooting.

The prosecutor said the DNA of Rachel, who had no interest in guns, was found "both in and on the muzzle".

The gun had been kept in Mr Matterazzo's bedroom at his house in Carver, Massachusetts, where Mr Entwistle had been staying with his wife less than two weeks before the murders.

Priscilla Matterazzo, 56, the mother of Mr Entwistle's dead wife, told the court the Briton had a set of keys to the house and knew where the spare key was kept.

She also said her son-in-law had been interested in her husband's guns and had visited his shooting club with him.

Mrs Matterazzo also said that her daughter and son-in-law "seemed to get along very well".

And, speaking about the couple's relationship before the murders, she added: "They seemed to have a friendship as well and seemed to love and respect each other."

'Neil loved his wife', says defence lawyer Elliot Weinstein

Mr Entwistle's DNA was discovered on an ammunition container, a gun lock and the grip of the handgun used to kill his wife and daughter, according to Mr Fabbri.

Prosecutors say the Briton planned to kill his family then himself, but backed out of the last part.

However, Elliot Weinstein, defending Mr Entwistle, told the jury: "The evidence will show you that Neil is not responsible for killing Rachel or killing Lillian. Neil Entwistle is not guilty."

Mr Weinstein went on: "On January 20, 2006, Neil Entwistle's world changed, never to be the same.

Jury warning

"Neil's life changed, also never to be the same. Neil loved his wife and Neil loved his daughter. On January 20 he lost them both.

"Everything that he said and everything that he did thereafter he did because he loved them, he did because he loved them both."

Mr Weinstein also issued a stark warning to the jury.

"The evidence you are going to hear is going to be sordid, it's going to be graphic and it's going to be gruesome. Do not be overwhelmed," he told them.

Mr Entwistle's mother Yvonne, of Kilton, Worksop, has always maintained her son's innocence, and has said this view is shared by the rest of her family.

She sat in the public gallery directly behind her son with her husband Cliff, a district councillor, and her other son Russell, and held a tissue to her face as the opening statements were delivered.

As well as Rachel Entwistle's mother, her stepfather Joseph Matterazzo and her brother, Jerome Souza, were among around a dozen members of her family at the courthouse.

The trial, which is expected to last three weeks, continues.

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