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Blow to US murder charge Briton.

The man accused of killing his wife, a former West Midlands teacher, and their baby daughter has lost two legal challenges in the run-up to his trial in the United States.

A judge has ruled Neil Entwistle must submit to a DNA test and also dismissed a defence motion to throw out the murder indictment against him. Entwistle (28) is accused of shooting his wife Rachel and their nine-month-old daughter Lillian.

Rachel, a former teacher at Augustine's Catholic High School, in Red-ditch, Worcestershire, and Lillian were found dead at the family home in Massachusetts in January.

Entwistle's lawyers argued prosecutors used unreliable DNA evidence to link him to the handgun believed to be the murder weapon.

Assistant district attorney Michael Fabbri said the state crime lab initially matched his DNA to the gun by extrapolating Entwistle's genetic profile from a sample taken from the infant. They then obtained DNA from a water bottle Entwistle had in his BMW.

Mr Fabbri said the first DNA match was reliable but prosecutors wanted a direct sample from Entwistle to present to a jury during trial.

In a ruling earlier this week, Judge Peter Lauriat said prosecutors are entitled to a direct sample and to conduct extensive testing on it.
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Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Nov 10, 2006
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