SJC denies bail hearing for murder suspect
Photo by Michael S. Gordon/The Republican Relatives of slaying victim Annamarie Cochrane Rintala testified Tuesday in the Hampshire Superior Court murder trial of her wife Cara Lee Rintala, who is seen here Feb. 22. Purchase photo reprints »
NORTHAMPTON — Murder suspect Cara Lee Rintala has once again been denied bail and will remain behind bars while she awaits a new trial.
Rintala, 46, formerly of Granby, has pleaded not guilty to the 2010 strangulation death of her wife, Annamarie Cochrane Rintala, 37.
Rintala’s trial in March ended with a deadlocked jury, prompting Hampshire Superior Court Judge Mary-Lou Rup to declare a mistrial.
Rintala and her attorney, David Hoose of Northampton, made two unsuccessful attempts to have bail set — once for $100,000 in late March and for $250,000 in late May. That denial of bail was appealed to the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, which upheld the lower court’s decision to keep Cara Rintala in custody pending a new trial. The SJC denied Rintala’s appeal Thursday without a hearing. “This is just a good day for us,” Annamarie Rintala’s uncle Pasquale Martin said by telephone Thursday.
“I’m very satisfied that (Cara Rintala’s) dreams and wishes — false as they are — were dashed against the rocks,” Martin said. “We can go on with our summer.”
In his opposition to Cara Rintala’s appeal for bail, First Assistant Northwestern District Attorney Steven Gagne, who is prosecuting the case, said the potential life sentence without parole she faces if convicted is an incentive to flee if released.
At the May bail hearing, Hoose said Rintala would agree to electronic monitoring and that she would reside in Ludlow if bail was granted.
Hoose said Cara Rintala’s family and friends, including members of her church, helped raise the quarter-million dollars. Hoose said by telephone Thursday that he is disappointed in the SJC decision. “I don’t see any reason she shouldn’t be released,” he said.
Hoose said that Cara Rintala had “every opportunity to flee if she wanted to,” between the time of her wife’s death and her arrest on a charge of murder about 19 months later.
A hearing has been set for July 11 to determine when Cara Rintala’s case can be brought back to trial.
Gagne has said his office is prepared to go to trial as soon as possible. Hoose said he may not be able to represent Cara Rintala in a new trial until at least October and possibly as late as January, depending on his schedule.
Bob Dunn can be reached at email@example.com.