As I expected, Friday the 13th didn’t hold any pleasant surprises for Neil Entwistle. Before going into Friday’s developments, I want to comment on the style of the prosecutor in this case, Michael Fabbri. It’s obvious he is not a grandiose person, given to theatrics. Instead, he is taking a great deal of time to be methodical and exacting. And just as importantly, I noticed he is taking considerable time to preemptively address points that Entwistle’s defense team will doubtless hope to raise when they eventually put on their case. That’s an example of intelligent lawyering. If you noticed, Fabbri undertook a considerable amount of time examining Joseph Matterazzo, Rachel Entwistle’s stepfather, regarding his activities and whereabouts the day of the murder. He went to great lengths to make sure that there were multiple witnesses who have corroborated Mr. Matterazzo’s whereabouts and activities that day, and he examined in painstaking detail Mr. Matterazzo’s complete lack of either opportunity or motive to harm Rachel Entwistle, right down to Rachel’s finances. This is so because the murder weapon belonged to Matterazzo, and Entwistle’s defense team is doubtless going to try and raise doubts in the minds of jurors about Mr. Matterazzo. The defense team won’t find many opportunities there.
Next, the prosecution has gone to great lengths in examining State Police forensic investigators, in establishing that not only was Neil Entwistle’s palm print found on the grip of the murder weapon, but that Rachel’s blood and DNA were found on and inside the muzzle of the gun. Also, you’ll notice that the prosecution spent a great deal of time examining State Police forensic investigators as to the exact POSITIONING of Rachel and Lillian’s bodies: Rachel lying on her left side, her right arm draped over Lillian. Fabbri’s direct examination made clear there were no signs whatsoever of a struggle, at all. Purpose: To instill in the minds of the jury that whoever killed Rachel and Lillian, must have been a person EXTREMELY FAMILIAR TO RACHEL, and in whom she perceived no threat to her safety. Otherwise, had the killer been someone Rachel would not have expected in her bedroom, Rachel would have doubtless attempted to either flee the room or defend herself. The point: Either the killer was someone EXTREMELY familiar to Rachel, and in whom she perceived no threat to her safety – or a total stranger tiptoed into that bedroom, with no apparent motive, and, before Rachel even had a chance to open her eyes, shot her in the head and Lillian in the chest – then quietly left. Making such an implausible scenario even less believable, forensic testimony on Friday made clear that the murder weapon was fired at a distance of at most 18 inches from Rachel’s head. Whoever killed her, was not firing from behind a wall or crouched hidden somewhere in the room. He was right next to Rachel – exactly the place you’d expect to find an otherwise “loving” husband.
From a defense attorney’s perspective, it’s going to take a miracle to surmount the prosecution’s testimony offered so far. For balance, I should add that it may well be that Entwistle’s defense team has some unexploded evidentiary bombshell in their files, which they plan to detonate at the “right” time. If not, I don’t envy them.
Note to Neil Weinstein and Stephanie Page: Have you put in for hardship pay?