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Wednesday, November 8, 2006

Judge refuses to dismiss Entwistle case


A judge has refused to dismiss murder charges against Neil Entwistle despite a claim by the defendant, who is accused of fatally shooting his wife and infant daughter, that authorities arrested him on the basis of a flawed and indirect DNA match.

But Middlesex Superior Court Judge Peter M. Lauriat granted a motion by prosecutors to let them obtain another DNA sample from Entwistle through a swab of his cheek.

He also authorized the State Police crime laboratory to conduct further tests on several ammunition boxes, gun locks, gun cases, and a pistol to determine whether Entwistle’s DNA is on them.

Entwistle, who is accused of shooting his 27-year-old wife, Rachel, and 9-month-old daughter, Lillian, in the master bedroom of the couple’s Hopkinton home in January, had challenged the request for the cheek swab as a violation of constitutional protections against unreasonable searches and seizures.

His lawyers had argued that if another sample was needed, the judge should dismiss the charges.

But Lauriat rejected the arguments by Entwistle’s lawyers.

-- Jonathan Saltzman

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