Brit loses appeal against US murder convictions
A BRITISH man serving a life sentence in the United States for the murder of his wife and nine-month-old daughter has lost an appeal against his convictions.
Lawyers for Neil Entwistle, originally from Worksop, had sought a re-trial, arguing that evidence obtained during searches of the family home in Massachusetts while police were looking for his wife and daughter, done without search warrants, should have been dismissed at the trial.
But Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court yesterday upheld the convictions.
Justice Ralph Gants said: “We have reviewed the entire trial record and conclude that the defendant received a fair trial.
“The interests of justice do not require the entry of a verdict of a lesser degree of guilt on the murder convictions, or a new trial.”
The court said in its decision that the searches were justified because of the possibility that residents were in danger.
Entwistle’s lawyers had also argued he was denied a fair and impartial jury because the jury pool was tainted by the “saturating and inflammatory” media coverage of the case.
But after a review of the trial transcript, the Supreme Judicial Court concluded the judge conducted a careful, balanced and thorough voir dire – a questioning process – that addressed the risks posed by the pre-trial publicity and did not abuse her discretion in concluding that the jury selected was impartial.
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