Judge Declares Mistrial in Cara Rintala Murder Case
NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WGGB) – After four days of deliberations, a Hampshire County Superior Court judge has declared a mistrial in the murder trial of Granby woman accused of killing her wife.
The decision comes after the jury was unable to reach an unanimous verdict against Cara Rintala. She is accused of killing her wife, Annamarie Cochrane Rintala, in their Granby home in March 2010.
After telling Judge Mary-Lou Rup Wednesday morning that they have made one attempt at a verdict and not been unanimous, she then gave them new instructions and had them go back and resume talks.
However, in the afternoon, the jury came back again and said that they were still unable to come to a consensus. At that point, defense attorney David Hoose asked for a mistrial.
Judge Rup told the jury to go back into the jury room and determine if they want to continue deliberating, but they don’t have to because they have already made two attempts at a verdict.
A short time later, the jury informed Rup that they couldn’t continue and Rup immediately declared a mistrial
At a press conference after court, Assistant District Attorney Steve Gagne expressed his disappointment in the mistrial, but said that the Commonwealth intends to retry the case. He noted that “Just because a mistrial doesn’t mean this is a weak case.”
The events Wednesday come after several questions were posed to the judge Tuesday afternoon, including a clarification on a definition of “reasonable doubt” and guidance on reaching a consensus.
In response, Rup told jurors that reasonable doubt does not mean “all doubt.” She noted that probability was not enough to convict and that evidence must be convincing to a reasonable certainty.
On the question of reaching a consensus, the judge told the jurors that they are “judges of facts, not partisans” and they need to work toward a consensus and the verdict needs to be unanimous.
Hoose also expressed his disappointment by the mistrial being declared and he feels the evidence in the case clearly showed reasonable doubt.
Rintala will continue to be held without the right to bail until a bail hearing Monday afternoon.
There’s no word on when that retrial may occur.