BOSTON – 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.
"We understand that he is returning to the U.S. on a private flight," a police statement said.
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.
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.
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 the case had generated such media interest here and abroad that it would be difficult for Entwistle to get a fair trial.
"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 U.S. 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.
Search warrant affidavits filed by law enforcement officials in the U.S. describe how Rachel Entwistle's relatives called police after the couple organized a dinner party but did not answer their door when guests arrived.
Officers discovered the bodies on Jan. 22, and found Entwistle's white BMW sport utility vehicle parked at Logan International Airport, in Boston.
In the documents, officers describe Entwistle as a secretive man who was sinking deep into debt. The documents say that in the days before the killings, he trolled the Internet looking for sexual partners and information on ways to kill people and commit suicide.
Middlesex District Attorney Martha Coakley said authorities believe Entwistle used his father-in-law's .22-caliber handgun in the shootings, and may have planned to turn the weapon on himself because of his mounting debts.
Instead of committing suicide, he drove the gun back to his father-in-law's house, then fled to his native England, authorities allege.
Hopkinton Police Chief Tom Irvin has said he expects Entwistle to be booked at the Hopkinton police station and held there until his arraignment on Thursday.
Rachel Entwistle's mother and stepfather, Priscilla and Joseph Matterazzo, are planning to attend the arraignment, said Joseph Flaherty, a family spokesman.
During the arraignment, Entwistle will be asked to enter a plea, and prosecutors will make an argument for bail. In murder cases, prosecutors almost always ask for the defendant to be held without bail, and Entwistle's lawyer has the right to ask for a hearing on that matter.
Entwistle met Rachel Souza, a Holy Cross student from Kingston, in 1999 at Britain's University of York, in northern England, where she was spending the year abroad.
The couple married in 2003 and lived in England. In April 2005, Lillian was born. The couple moved to Carver in southeastern Massachusetts last summer and lived with Rachel's relatives.
In January 2006, the family moved into a Colonial-style home they rented in Hopkinton, a rural town about 35 miles west of Boston.
Ten days later, the mother and daughter were found dead.