Friday, May 02, 2014
NORTHAMPTON — Lawyers for Cara Lee Rintala, accused of killing her wife, Annamarie Cochrane Rintala in their Granby home in 2010 have filed a motion to dismiss the murder indictment against her.
Prosecutors said they will oppose that motion.
Both of Rintala’s trials on the charge — one in 2013, the other January, 2014 — ended with hung juries and declarations of mistrials.
Rintala, 47, is free on $150,000 bail posted earlier this year.
The Northwestern District Attorney’s office said at the conclusion of the second trial it planned on prosecuting the case a third time.
For more articles and video about the Rintala murder, visit the trial's Special Coverage page.
That situation is the basis of the 42-page motion to dismiss filed in Hampshire Superior Court in mid-April by her attorneys David Hoose and Luke Ryan of Northampton.
“The court should bar a third trial where the first two trials have resulted in hung juries and where the Commonwealth has no significant new evidence to present at a third trial,” part of the motion reads. “The defendant makes these requests in order to secure her rights to be free from being placed twice in jeopardy, to a fair trial and to due process of law.”
The motion contends proceeding with a third trial would violate Rintala’s Sixth and Fourteenth Amendment rights.
“A review of the Commonwealth’s evidence reveals they have proven nothing more than a possibility that (Rintala) is responsible for this crime,” the motion reads. “As this court’s instruction to the jury made clear, that is simply not nearly enough.”
First Assistant Northwestern District Attorney Steven Gagne, who prosecuted both trials, said in a statement, “We have reviewed the defendant’s motion, and intend to oppose it. This case deserves to be fully and fairly resolved through a unanimous jury verdict.”
According to Gagne, The DA’s office is awaiting word from presiding Judge Mary-Lou Rup when their opposition motion is due and whether there will be a hearing on the matter.
Cara Lee Rintala Motion to Dismiss 5/01/14
Each trial lasted about a month and each ended with a jury unable to come to a required unanimous verdict, each deadlocking in eight to four splits.
Rintala is accused of strangling her wife in the basement of their Granby home after a tumultuous relationship plagued by debt, arguments and mistrust.
Her defense team maintains she was the target of a sloppy investigation that presumed her guilt from the start.
Bob Dunn can be reached at email@example.com.