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COMMONWEALTH v. CARA L. RINTALA DEFENDANT'S MEMORANDUM OF LAW IN SUPPORT OF HER MOTIONS TO FILE MOTIONS IN LIMINE UNDER SEAL TO CLOSE COURTOOM DURING HEARINGS
This case has already received a large amount of attention from the local media. There was substantial media coverage of the crime when it happened in March of 2010, and again when Ms. Rintala was arrested and charged with it in October of 2011. It is beyond question that the local, regional, and perhaps national print, electronic, televised and radio media will follow the case closely, including the proceedings leading up to trial. The media coverage, a few samples of which are attached, has already focused on the details of Ms. Rintala's life and her relationship with her wife, the victim in this case. The effect of the media coverage has been compounded by the fact that the case has persistently been portrayed as the "first lesbian marriage murder case," a moniker which unfairly presumes the defendant's guilt. This coverage has spawned other reports and discussions of domestic violence in the gay community. The defendant anticipates that the hearings on her Motions in Limine, which in large part will focus on allegations of domestic violence, will attract broad interest from the media should the proceedings be 1
open to the public. Given the fact that the hearings on the Motions in Limine will be held just a week before jury selection begins, there is tremendous potential for contamination of the jury pool. 1 The First Amendment confers only a qualified right of public access to judicial proceedings. The right of the public to attend court proceedings is not absolute. Commonwealth v. Cohen, 456 Mass. 94, 107 (2010) ("[T]he public trial right is not absolute, and in limited circumstances a court may bar spectators from certain portions of a criminal trial." (citing Commonwealth v. Martin, 417 Mass. 187, 193 (1994))). For this right of public access to apply to a particular proceeding, the proceeding must satisfy a two-part test based on "experience" and "logic": first, the type of proceeding must have a historic tradition of openness, and second, public access must "play a significant positive role in the functioning of the particular process in question. Eagle Tribune Publishing
Co. v. Clerk Magistrate of Lawrence, and others, 448 Mass. 647 (2007) (citing WBZ-TV4 v. Executive Office of Labor, 414 Mass. 767, 770 (1993)). This Court has the authority to close the hearings on the Motions in Limine to the public and press. First, the intense focus of the local media on this case, along with the nature of the evidence which is the subject of the hearing, amply support a finding that there is a substantial probability that Ms. Rintala's right to a fair trial under the Sixth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution and Article XII of the Massachusetts Declaration of Rights will be jeopardized by public dissemination of the evidence that the Court may ultimately rule should not be heard by the jury. This is an
1 It should be noted that the defendant has refrained from seeking a change in venue or selection of a jury from outside Hampshire County despite negative publicity which has been exacerbated by the prosecutor's public expression of his confidence in the defendant's guilt. 2
overriding interest that is likely to be prejudiced if closure is not granted. Second, the closure that is requested is no broader than what is necessary to protect that interest since the defendant requests only that the hearings on the Motions in Limine be closed. Third, there are no reasonable alternatives to closing the hearing given the temporal proximity of the hearing to jury selection. Alternatives such as a continuance after the rulings on the Motions in Limine or a change of venue are not feasible. 2 Short of closing the hearing, it is inevitable that evidence which may never be heard by the jury will be highlighted in local television, electronic media, and newspaper coverage. This court should make findings to support the defendant's request and close the courtroom. See
Commonwealth v. Clark, 432 Mass. 1, 8 (2000) (citing Commonwealth v. Martin, 417 Mass. 187, 194 (1994); Waller v. Georgia, 467 U.S. 39, 48 (1984)). The United States Supreme Court has taken note of the fact that adverse publicity can endanger the ability of a defendant to receive a fair trial. Gannett Co., Inc. v.
DePasquale, 99 S. Ct. 2898, 2904 (1979). In Gannett, the Supreme Court upheld the closing of a suppression hearing from the public. The Gannett court noted that a trial While this Court will no doubt instruct jurors to disregard any pretrial publicity to which they might have been exposed, some cognitive psychologists have begun to question the effectiveness of such instructions based on recent studies which show that pretrial publicity has a significantly greater biasing effect on jury decision-making than previously perceived. See CHRISTINE L. RUVA, How PRETRIAL PUBLICITY AFFECTS JURY DECISION MAKING AND MEMORY (Nova Science Publishers 2010). According to Ms. Ruva, "Research on the misinformation effect . . . and source memory . . . suggest that jurors may have a difficult time distinguishing between information that they receive before trial in the form of [pretrial publicity] and evidence presented at trial." Id. at 3. In fact, "[a] delay between exposure to information (e.g. [pretrial publicity]) and retrieval of that information (during jury deliberations) could lead to a type of sleeper effect . . . in which the memory of the low credibility or unreliable source ([pretrial publicity]) is no longer remembered and the information is attributed to a credible or reliable source (the trial)." Id. at 4. For this reason, "judicial instructions admonishing jurors not to use [pretrial publicity] may be ineffective between jurors cannot distinguish between the two sources of case information ([pretrial publicity] and trial evidence)." Id. 3
judge has an "affirmative constitutional duty to minimize the effects of prejudicial pretrial publicity." In discussing that duty the Court explained: Publicity concerning pre-trial suppression hearings such as the one involved in the present case poses special risks of unfairness. The whole purpose of such hearings is to screen out unreliable or illegally obtained evidence and ensure that this evidence does not become known to the jury. (Citation omitted). Publicity concerning the proceedings at a pre-trial hearing, however, could influence public opinion against a defendant and inform potential jurors of inculpatory information wholly inadmissible at the actual trial. Id. at 2905. Further, when [inadmissible prejudicial information] is publicized during a pre-trial proceeding, however, it may never be altogether kept from potential jurors. Closure of pre-trial proceedings is often one of the most effective methods that a trial judge can employ to attempt to ensure that the fairness of the trial will not be jeopardized by the dissemination of such information throughout the community before the trial itself has even begun. Id. Just two terms ago, the essence of the Gannett ruling was affirmed in Presley v. Georgia, 130 S.Ct. 721 (2010) (Per Curiam): "Our cases have uniformly recognized the public-trial guarantee as one created for the benefit of the defendant." Id. at 724 (citing
Gannett, 443 U.S. at 380 (1979)). The defendant suggests that it is to no one's benefit to have the jury pool contaminated by reference to incidents that may never reach the jurors ears and which therefore might negatively impact the defendant's constitutional rights. For all of the foregoing reasons, the defendant, requests that this Court allow her Motion to Close the Hearing.
By Her Attorneys David P. Hoose, Esq. BBO # 239400 Luke Ryan, BBO #664999 SASSON, TURNBULL, RYAN & HOOSE 100 Main Street Northampton, MA 01060 (413) 586-4800
COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS HAMPSHIRE, ss TRIAL COURT OF THE COMMONWEALTH SUPERIOR COURT DEPT. HAMPSHIRE DIVISION INDICTMENT NO. 11-128 COMMONWEALTH
CARA L. RINTALA DEFENDANT'S TO MOTION FILE MOTIONS IN LIIVIINE UNDER SEAL
Now comes the defendant in the above captioned matter and requests that this Honorable Court permit her to file her Motions in Limine and supporting affidavits and Memoranda under seal for the reasons stated in the Defendant's Motion to Seal and to Close Courtroom. THE DEFENDANT
Her Attorney David P. Hoose, Esq. SASSON, TURNBULL, RYAN & HOOSE 100 Main Street Northampton, MA 01060 (413) 586-4800 BBO# 239400
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Report: Domestic Violence Rate Among Same-Sex Couples Continues to Rise
by Peter Cassels EDGE Contributor Wednesday Nov 2, 2011
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A new report from the National Coalition of AntiViolence Programs indicates that domestic violence within the LGBT community remains a serious problem. The coalition issued its report on 2010 statistics on Thursday, Oct. 27. The numbers show increases in domestic abuse incidents, but some experts attribute this jump to better reporting mechanisms. The problem remained hidden until recent years because law enforcement authorities largely ignored it and victims often were reluctant to report abuse. Many still are, according to the report.
CAN YONRANC H,
The NCAVP reported that violence among same-sex couples resulted In six deaths last year, the same number as in 2009. The week before the coalition Issued its report, police arrested Cara Rintala and later charged her with the murder of her wife, Annemarie, who was found strangled and beaten to death in their Granby, Mass., home on March 29, 2010. Rintala was arrested on Oct. 19 in Narragansett, R.I., where she had been living with her parents and her 4-year-old daughter. She pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder at her Oct. 27 arraignment in Hampshire Superior Court In Northampton. A judge ordered Rintala held without bail at a hearing the next day. Eunice Fields of Brockton, Mass., reportedly confessed to killing her ex-girlfriend's Alcoholics Anonymous sponsor in the woman's Bridgewater, Mass., condo on Aug, 9, 2010, because she had come between the couple. Prosecutors charged Fields with first-degree murder at her arraignment the next day. She pleaded not guilty despite her alleged confession to police and is awaiting trial. The other four deaths in 2010 that the NCAVP attributed to domestic violence occurred in California, Kansas, Missouri and Wisconsin. The report highlighted some disturbing trends. Violence was more severe than in previous years, less than half of domestic violence victims who sought orders of protection received them and they were more reluctant to contact law enforcement. In 2010, coalition affiliates received more than 5,000 domestic violence reports, a 38 percent Increase over 2009, More than half of the victims (55.4 percent) said they experienced physical violence, a major increase over the previous year when just over 36 percent reported It. According to NCAVP, physical violence is just one of the ways domestic abuse manifests itself. Others Include threats of violence, outing and stalking. Victims often don't get the support they need when they report abuse. More victims (nearly 45 percent) were turned away from shelters in 2010 than in 2009, when fewer than 35 percent were. "Lack of access to shelters and other supportive services increases a survivor's risk of immediate danger and puts their lives at risk at a critical moment," said Chal Jindasurat, NCAVP coordinator at the New York City Anti-Violence Project, in statement. Only about seven percent of domestic abuse victims notified law enforcement in 2010-more than 20 percent did so in 2009.
Report: Lack of funding hampers response to LGBT domestic violence
By Peter Ca$selt, , Oct 22
In its annual report issued on Tuesday, Oct. 26, the National Coalition of AntiViolence Programs concluded a lack of adequate funding hampers the response to increased incidents of LGBT domestic and intimate partner violence.
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By Steve Weinste,n lail
The boyfriend Francisco Gonzalez Fuentes & another man were charged in Fuentes' murder & dismemberment in suburban New Jersey, allegedly the result of an argument.
Justice Dept. Memo: Prosecute Same-Sex Domestic Violence Cases
By Kilian Molloy it1 , 1
A Justice Department memorandum indicates that cases of same-sex domestic
violence and stalking should be treated
the same under federal law as instances between mixed-gender couples.
This figures underscore a need to create public education campaigns that target domestic abuse prevention in the LGBT community, the coalition maintained. Verizon Wireless has awarded the NCAVP a $25,000 grant to increase access and support for victims and survivors of domestic and sexual violence.
Domestic violence occurs among couples in the community at the same rate as it does among heterosexuals, with women being affected more than men are. "Rates of LGBT domestic violence is difficult because a lot of the community's members are closeted, but studies show that 25 to 33 percent of folks experience It," said Beth Leventhal, executive director of Boston's The Network/LaRed, an organization devoted to ending partner abuse, in an interview with EDGE. "That's the same rate as in the straight community." "I think the numbers you see in this report are barely the tip of the iceberg," she added. LGBT domestic abuse is not necessarily increasing, Leventhal pointed out. She attributed higher figures to better reporting through programs that are able to do more outreach. While the bad economy is causing stress among LGBTs and straights alike, it's not contributing towards increases in domestic violence. "Stress Is not what causes abuse," she maintained. The economy is contributing to budget cuts, "so I think it affects people in that way," said Leventhal.
Peter Cassels is a recipient of the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association's Excellence in Journalism award. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
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the 33aston Otobe
Gay spouse murder case puts focus on long -hidden problem
By Bella English I GLOBE STAFF FEBRUARY
DAVE ROBACK/DAILY HAMPSHIRE GAZETTE Attorney David Hoose, shown with client Cara Lee Rintala in 2011, said she denies involvement in her wife's death. He questions why it took prosecutors more than a year to charge her.
Around 8 a.m. on March 29, 2010, Annamarie Cochrane Rintala punched out of her overnight shift as a paramedic in Springfield. That evening, police found her wife, Cara Lee Rintala, crying and cradling Annamarie's lifeless body in the basement of the Granby home they shared with their 2-year-old daughter, Brianna. In October, following a 19-month investigation, Cara was charged with first-degree murder in the strangulation death of Annamarie, 37, making it the first murder case in Massachusetts in which the victim and suspect are same-sex spouses. Cara, a 45-year-old Ludlow firefighter, has pleaded not guilty. The case has shaken rural Granby, population 6,40o. Residents of the Western Massachusetts town say they can't recall the last murder.
"This is just a horrible tragedy, and I think it shocked us all," said Police Chief Alan Wishart.
CONTINUE READING BELOW V
Eight years after gays celebrated the legalization of same Related -sex marriage in Massachusetts, the Rintala case is Video: Reporting on first same-sex shining a light on domestic violence among gay couples, marriage murder in Mass. a subject that gay advocates say has festered in the shadows. Physical and psychological aggression among gay couples occurs at the same rate as heterosexual couples but is less likely to be discussed and reported, domestic violence specialists say. C4 "It's still very much under-recognized in the 'It's still very much under-recognized community," said Beth Leventhal, executive director of in the community. There's still a The Network/La Red, a nonprofit working to end stigma.' domestic violence in the gay, lesbian, and transgender communities. "There's still a stigma. For so long, we've been the victims of violence from outside the community, but it doesn't mean we don't also face violence from inside." According to Jane Doe Inc., a statewide advocacy group that tracks domestic violence deaths, a second homicide involving a married gay couple in Massachusetts occurred a year after the Rintala case. Michael Losee, 41, of Malden, was charged in the March 2011 stabbing death of his husband, Brian Bergeron, 55. A 2010 survey by the federal Centers for Disease Control found that 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men have been the victim of severe physical violence with an intimate partner. Although the national study did not differentiate between straight and gay couples, both The Network/La Red and Jane Doe both say they believe it happens at the same rate. In heterosexual relationships, women are the victims more than go percent of the time. But they can also be abusers. "What we see in lesbian relationships," said Toni Troop, spokeswoman for Jane Doe, "is the same dynamic that occurs in heterosexual relationships, in terms of one person trying to exert power and control over the other person."
A rocky relationship
The Rintalas had a rocky relationship. They moved in together in 2004 and married in Provincetown in August 2007. Shortly before they were married, they adopted a baby girl, Brianna. A year later Annamarie told Granby police that Cara had struck her with a spatula and a closed fist. When Cara was arrested, she said that Annamarie had hit her. In the two years preceding Annamarie's death, each had taken out two restraining orders against the other, and both had filed for divorce. Financial strain may have contributed to the tension. Each woman had racked up debt. At the time of her death, Annamarie owed $33,510 on credit cards; Cara was $35,000 in debt.
"Annamarie was a spendaholic by all accounts," said First Assistant Northwestern District Attorney Steve Gagne, who is prosecuting the case. "She had opened a line of credit under Cara's name without Cara's knowledge." Co-workers saw bruises on Annamarie over the years, said Gagne, but she would always attribute them to bumping into things, and the women would recant their allegations of abuse against each other. In 2009, the couple filed separately for divorce but never followed through. Annamarie briefly moved into her own apartment in South Hadley, but they reconciled that November. In early 2010 they took their daughter on a Caribbean cruise for a new start. "They were all aglow after they returned," said the Rev. Lori Souder of the First Congregational Church of South Hadley. The Rintalas had started attending services that fall and were embraced by the church, which has other gay members. "They were seeking meaning for their own lives, their own relationship. I think they were seeking help on how to regain balance in their relationship." On the night of March 28, 2010, a telephone argument erupted between the couple, according to the prosecution. A friend of Cara's had gone to the house, and when Annamarie called home from work, she overheard his voice. "He'd come over without Annamarie knowing," said Gagne, "and she felt that was sneaky." The incident prompted a flurry of calls and text messages, with Annamarie telling Cara that the visit was disrespectful - that, as a married couple, they should be telling each other such things. Around midnight, she sent a text: "I HATE OUR RELATIONSHIP." Cara told police that the next morning she took Brianna for a drive to let Annamarie get some sleep after she arrived home from work. At 5 p.m., surveillance cameras showed Cara throwing a rag in a trashcan in the parking lot of a McDonald's restaurant in Holyoke. Testing revealed traces of Annamarie's DNA, Gagne said. Cara told police that when she returned home around 7 p.m., she saw the basement door open, glimpsed Annamarie's feet, and ran to a neighbor, who called 911. She then returned home, where police found Cara cradling her wife's body, which was covered in wet, pink ceiling paint. Annamarie had three scalp wounds; one to the back of the head, one on each side. "It's odd behavior," Gagne said. He adds that "someone went to great lengths to make it look as if there was a break-in." Gagne theorizes that the paint was used to cover up blood; nearby was an overturned 5gallon can.
Two weeks later, Cara filed for Annamarie's $512,000 life insurance benefits, which have yet to be paid. Annamarie had named Cara as her prime beneficiary and her brother Charles Cochrane as the contingent beneficiary. Cochrane, who lives in Springfield, contested the claim, saying Cara could not collect because she caused Annamarie's death.
Lawyers for the Prudential Insurance Company of America have asked the court to decide whether it should pay the claim to her. That case, in US District Court in Springfield, won't be decided until after the criminal case is over. After Annamarie's death, Cara took a leave of absence from her job, and she and Brianna moved in with her mother and stepfather in Narragansett, R.I. She was "psychologically unable to return to the house" that the couple had shared in Granby, her attorney said in a bail hearing. Six months later, Cara sold the house but returned to work at the Ludlow Fire Department. She stayed with friends in Springfield, commuting to Rhode Island to be with her parents and Brianna when she was off duty. In April 2011, she quit and moved full time to Narragansett. In Rhode Island, Cara worked as a paramedic for the Westerly Ambulance Corps. On Oct. 19, 2011, at 4:30 p.m., shortly after being indicted, she was arrested while driving, with Brianna, in Narragansett. Cara is being held at the Western Massachusetts Regional Women's Correctional Center in Chicopee. Brianna, now 4, remains with Cara's parents and has visited her mother in prison. Since Annamarie's death, Cara and her parents have refused to let Annamarie's parents see Brianna, Gagne said. A Rhode Island judge recently granted supervised visitation rights to Annamarie's parents, Lucyann and William Cochrane, who live in Springfield and often baby-sat Brianna. Neither the Cochranes nor Cara's mother and stepfather, Sandra and Carl Montagna, would speak to the Globe. A date for Cara's murder trial in Hampshire Superior Court has not been set. Cara spends her time in prison "reading ferociously" and volunteering in the prison library, said Souder, who visits her.
In Gagne's office, a grid of yellow Post-it notes papers one wall, laying out the chronology of the case. Directly across from his desk, Cara's booking photo stares solemnly at him. "She and I look face-to-face every day," Gagne said. "My own interpretation of it is her saying, 'Well, the jig is up.' " Cara's attorney, David Hoose, said his client "adamantly denies" she had any involvement in Annamarie's death. He questions why it took so long to charge her. "She continued to work," Hoose said. "She moved back to Rhode Island to be closer to her family. After 19 months, this hit her like a lightning bolt. The most difficult part of this is that she has been separated from her daughter, who has obviously lost one parent and now has lost the other." Gagne said the case was delayed because of logistics, not lack of evidence. A newly elected Northwestern district attorney, David Sullivan, took office in January 2011; Gagne joined his staff soon after. At the time, the high-profile Phoebe Prince bullying investigation was underway, and it wasn't until summer of 2011, Gagne said, that he was able to turn his full attention to the Rintala case.
Two years after Granby was rocked by Annamarie's killing, residents still seem surprised and saddened by the events. "They were both great employees, they did everything we asked of them," said Granby Fire Chief Russell Anderson, who employed both women as on-call paramedics. "On the one hand, you want Ann's attacker to be brought to justice, but you don't like thinking it was her partner. You hope for the best, but there is no best in any of this."
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Mass Woman To Stand Trial For Murdering Wife in Milestone Case
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Mass. Woman To Stand Trial For Murdering Wife in Milestone Case
By Winston Gieseke Originally published on Advocate.com February 24 2012 8:10 PM ET Cara Lee Rintala, 45, is currently awaiting trial for killing her wife in Massachusetts's first ever same-sex spouse murder case. On March 29, 2010, police found Cara cradling the lifeless body of her wife, Annamarie Cochrane Rintala, 37, in the basement of their home in Granby. In October 2011, 19 months later, Cara was arrested and charged with strangling Annamarie. Police say the lengthy time period between the crime and the arrest was not due to a lack of evidence but simply a case of logistics. According to the Boston Globe, the Rintalas, who had been together since 2004, had a rocky relationship that included accusations of domestic violence, at least one arrest of Cara for striking Annamarie, non-finalized divorce filings, and multiple restraining orders from each side. Cara has denied any involvement in the murder. Read the full story here.
Source URL: http://www.advocate.com/crime/2012/02/24/mass-woman-stand-trial-murdering-wife-milestone-case Links:  http://www.advocate.com/  http://bostonglobe.com/metro/2012/02/24/gay-spouse-murder-case-gran by-puts-focus-same-sexviolence/vBgn FcgNaGoWZQZWe2683K/story.html
http://www. advo c ate. com/print/crime/2 0 1 2/02/24/mass-woman-stand-trial-murdering-wife... 1 /1 5/201 3
R.I. woman denies murdering her wife - The Westerly Sun: News
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R.I. woman denies murdering her wife
By DALE P. FAULKNER / Sun Staff Writer I Posted: Friday, October 21, 2011 11:30 am
WESTERLY - A Westerly Ambulance Corps emergency medical technician has been charged with killing her same-sex spouse last year in Granby, Mass., where the couple lived at the time. Cara Lee Rintala, who sources said worked for the ambulance corps since April, appeared in Fourth Division District Court in Wakefield Thursday morning and waived her right to an extradition hearing, agreeing to be transferred to Massachusetts police custody. Northwestern District Attorney David E. Sullivan said the Hampshire County Grand Jury returned an indictment Wednesday charging Rintala, 45, with murder in the March 29, 2010, death of Annamarie Rintala in the home they shared at 18 Barton St., Granby. Granby police found Annamarie Rintala's body in the basement after a neighbor had called 911. The authorities said last year that an autopsy indicated that she had been strangled. Cara Rintala was arraigned Thursday afternoon in Hampshire Superior Court and pleaded not guilty to a charge of first-degree murder. Cara Rintala's Massachusetts lawyer, David Hoose of Northampton, said Cara "adamantly denies having anything to do with Annamarie's death." "We had hoped this day would never come," he said. "Cara lost her wife and had had to live with that. We are committed to seeing this through to her ultimate vindication." Dennis Mello, Westerly Ambulance Corps commander, confirmed that Rintala "works" for the ambulance corps but declined further comment. A source close to the Westerly Ambulance Corps said Rintala passed a routine background check conducted by the corps before she starting work for the ambulance corps. Rintala was taken into custody by Narragansett police and charged on an arrest warrant with being a fugitive from justice on Wednesday, shortly before 5 p.m. The police found her driving through Narragansett with her daughter, Brianna, 4. The girl and Rintala had been living in Narragansett with Cara's mother and stepfather; he was identified as Carl Montagna in a report by the Daily Hampshire Gazette. Annamarie Rintala's uncle, Pasquale Martin, told the Gazette in Northampton that the police "were nice enough to turn over the baby to the grandparents, which made these grandparents here happy." Rintala, handcuffed and wearing a blue windbreaker, was barely audible during a tearful appearance before District Court Associate Judge Mary E. McCaffrey in Wakefield. Robert Mann,
http://www.thewesterlysun.com/news/r-i-woman-denies-murdering-her-wife/article_7a993.. . 1/15/2013
Woman charged in 2010 killing of her wife in Granby - The Boston Globe
Woman charged in '10 slaying of wife
By Travis Andersen Globe Staff / October 21, 2011
A woman formerly of Granby pleaded not guilty yesterday to a charge that she murdered her wife last year in the home they shared in the town, authorities said. Cara L. Rintala, 45, was charged at her arraignment in Hampshire Superior Court with one count of first-degree murder in the March 29, 2010, death of her wife, Annamarie Rintala, 37, according to the office of Northwestern District Attorney David E. Sullivan. Sullivan's predecessor, Elizabeth Scheibel, said in April 2010 that an autopsy indicated Annamarie Rintala had been strangled. Cara Rintala's attorney, David P. Hoose of Northampton, said in a phone interview that his client adamantly denies killing her spouse. Hoose said that during a brief meeting with the lead prosecutor, First Assistant District Attorney Steven E. Gagne, "He told me quite candidly that it's a circumstantial case and that there is no smoking gun." In an e-mail, Gagne declined to discuss the evidence but said he planned to lay it out in detail at a bail hearing on Monday. He said a motive for the slaying "will likely be touched upon" during the hearing. Authorities said Rintala was arrested Wednesday in Narragansett, R.I. Noose said she has been living there with her mother and stepfather, as well as her 4-year-old daughter. "She had suffered the loss of her spouse," Noose said yesterday when asked why Rintala left Granby. "The murder happened in her marital home, and she didn't want to go back there to live." Calls to numbers listed for Cara Rintala's parents in Narragansett and Annamarie Rintala's relatives in Springfield were not returned yesterday. Hoose declined to comment when asked whether there was discord between the couple before the killing. Gagne said there were at least three prior domestic incidents involving the couple that required a response from Granby police. He said those incidents will be detailed on Monday. Both women worked as EMTs, Cara Rintala for the Ludlow Fire Department and Annamarie Rintala for a company in Holyoke. Barbara DuPuis, a former neighbor in Granby, told the Globe that Cara Rintala came to her door seeking help on the night of the killing. "She just came over and gave us the baby and the dog and said, 'Call 911,' " DuPuis said. "I can't imagine [Cara Rintala] having anything at all to do with that." Hoose said yesterday that Rintala has been distressed since the killing. "This has been a terrible blow to her," he said. "She lost her spouse and has on top of that, since the day this happened, basically been identified as the
number one stisneet She has had to live with that for the last year and a half. It's been very nainfill for her "
http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2011/10/21/woman_charged_in.. . 1/15/2013
Woman charged in 2010 killing of her wife in Granby - The Boston Globe
Page 2 of 2
Travis Andersen can be reached at email@example.com . Follow him on Twitter @TAGlobe
© Copyright 2011 Globe Newspaper Company.
http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2011/10/21/woman_charged_in.. . 1/15/2013
Cara Rintala murder trial delayed I WWLP.com
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Accused of strangling wife in 2010
Updated: Friday, 24 Aug 2012, 6:45 AM EDT Published : Friday. 24 Aug 2012, 6:45 AM EDT
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NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (AP) - The murder trial of a woman accused of strangling her paramedic wife in their western Massachusetts home has been delayed so DNA testing can be completed. The trial of Cara Rintala had been tentatively scheduled for November in Hampshire Superior Court. Rintala is accused of strangling Annamarie Cochrane Rintala in their Granby home in March 2010. Prosecutors and defense lawyers on Wednesday told a judge that DNA testing is unlikely to be finished until December and agreed that February is a more realistic time for the trial. Judge Richard Carey allowed the request to push the trial date back. Cara Rintala is being held after pleading not guilty to firstdegree murder.
Copyright Associated Press, Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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l Cara Rintala is accused of strangling Annamarie Cochrane Rintala in their Granby home in March 2010.
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Home : News : Local t Hampshire :
DA confident of Cara Rintala's guilt
Cara Rintala charged with killing wife Annemarie
Updated: Friday, 21 Oct 2011, 9:28 AM EDT Published : Thursday, 20 Oct 2011, 4:37 PM EDT Heidi Voight
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NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (VVVVLP) - It's the first alleged murder between a same-sex married couple in Massachusetts. Annamarie Rintala was found dead in the basement of her Granby home in March of 2010. For more than a year, her family has struggled with no answers, no justice. But Thursday, state prosecutors said they're confident they've
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found her killer. After 18 months of thorough investigation, the Northwestern District Attorney David Sullivan says he knows who killed Annamarie Rintala, her wife, Cara Rintala. A grand jury heard sixteen hours of evidence over two days before returning an indictment against Rintala on Wednesday afternoon; hours later, she was arrested in Narragansett, Rhode Island, where she's been living since her wife's death.
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She returned to Massachusetts Thursday to face a firstdegree murder charge. "Wthout a doubt there was only one course that our office would take. That Cara Rintala is responsible for the death of her partner Annemarie," stated Sullivan. Annemarie's family members wept silently as Rintala was led out of the courtroom into state custody after pleading not guilty. The victim's uncle Pasquale Martin told 22News they hoped this day would come, but nothing will ever erase the pain of their loss. "Now that it's here it's bittersweet We're happy, but how can you put happiness on one life facing the rest of her life in prison and my niece being murdered by somebody?" The Rintalas had an adopted daughter together named Brianna. Assistant DA Steve Gagne said Brianna was with Cara Rintala when she was arrested, but does not know in whose custody the child is staying now. Rintala will return to court on Monday afternoon for a bail hearing.
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Prosecutor details last hours of murder victim Annamarie Cochrane Rintala at bail hearing of her wife, Cara Rintala
By Fred Contrada The Republican on October 28, 2011 at 6:12 PM, updated October 28, 2011 at 6:53 PM Print View/Post Comments Updates a story posted Friday at 3:45 p.m.
NORTHAMPTON — The prosecution gave a detailed and sometimes harrowing account of the last day of Annamarie Cochrane Rintala's life Friday at a bail hearing in Hampshire Superior Court for her wife, Cara L. Rintala, who is charged with murdering her.
Cochrane Rintala, 37, was found beaten and strangled to death in the couple's Granby home on March 29, 2010. Police responding to a 911 call from a neighbor arrived at the scene to find Rintala sitting on the basement floor with her wife's paint -splattered body in her lap, wailing. Following a 19-month investigation, Rintala was arrested last week in Rhode Island, where she had been living with the couple's 4-year-old daughter.
Bail hearing for Cara Rintala, accused of murdering her wife, Annamarie Cochrane Rintala gallery (6 photos) Enlarge Dave Roback, The Republican
10/28/11-Northampton- Staff Photo by Dave Roback-Cara Rintala appears in Hampshire Superior court with her lawyer David Hoose during a bail hearing on Friday. Here she enters court.
After going a year-and-a-half without releasing any information on the case, Northwestern First Assistant District Attorney Steven Gagne gave an exhaustive account of the evidence gathered against the defendant during that time. With the victim's friends and family listening on one side of the courtroom and the defendant's supporters on the other, Gagne painted a picture for Judge Bertha D. Josephson of a trou bled and sometimes violent marriage.
"This was an extremely turbulent relationship," he said.
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According to Gagne, Rintala and Cochrane Rintala began dating in 2002 and married in 2007, three years after same-sex marriage became legal in Massachusetts. They adopted their daughter Brianna, now 4, within days of her birth.
In September 2008, Cochrane Rintala went to the Granby police to report that Rintala had struck her in the head with a spatula and her fist, and took out a restraining order against her wife. Both women later denied any abuse, saying the police had blown the incident out of proportion. However, Department of Social Services investigators did not believe the recantation, Gagne said.
In May 2009, police went to the house following an aborted 911 call in which the dispatcher could hear a woman screaming. The couple told officers that their daughter had pulled the telephone off a dresser and accidentally dialed the emergency number.
Each woman made abuse complaints against the other, and at one point Cara Rintala filed for divorce, saying, "I can't take it," Gagne said. She ultimately withdrew the divorce papers.
The prosecutor said Cara Rintala claimed she was bullied by Cochrane Rintala, while Cochrane Rintala told family members that her wife was physically and emotionally abusive. Cochrane Rintala moved out of the Granby house for a brief time in 2009, but returned.
According to Gagne, two people who formerly had relationships with Rintala contacted his office following her arraignment last week to say that Rintala had been abusive to them as well.
As Gagne recounted it, both women were also seriously in debt, with Cochrane Rintala piling up $33,000 in unpaid credit card purchases and Cara Rintala owing $35,000. Cochrane Rintal once took out a credit card in her wife's name and ran up $20,000 in charges, Gagne said.
On March 28, 2010, Cochrane Rintala, a Springfield paramedic, worked a 12-hour, overnight shift, returning home after 8 a.m. on the day of her murder. Cara Rintala, also a paramedic, got called to work a few hours of overtime at the Ludlow Fire Department that morning, returning to Granby at about 10 a.m. The last recorded activity on Cochrane Rintala's cell phone, according to Gagne, was a call to her father at 9:30 that morning and a call to someone in Florida at 12:31 p.m.
According to the prosecutor, at 7:12 p.m., Cara Rintala showed up at a neighbor's door with her daughter and the family dog and asked the neighbor to dial 911.
"Anne's in the basement," she said, leaving the girl and the dog with the neighbor. Police arrived shortly afterwards and found her holding Cochrane Rintala's body.
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According to Gagne, police found the cement cellar floor and Cochrane Rintala's body covered with a kind of pink paint that turns white after several hours. The paint was still pink when they arrived, indicating it had been recently poured, he said.
Gagne said an extensive investigation shot holes in Rintala's story that she spent the afternoon driving Brianna around so her wife could sleep, and that she came home to find the door open and Cochrane Rintala dead. While Rintala sent numerous texts to Cochrane Rintala's phone that afternoon, she never responded to any of her own calls, Gagne said.
"There are four hours in which no one can verify her whereabouts," he told Josephson.
However, a surveillance camera at a McDonald's restaurant appears to show Rintala going to a trash can outside the restaurant at 5:48 p.m. Police later retrieved rags from the receptacle, including one with blood stains that are consistent with Rintala's blood.
At 5:57 p.m., Rintala's truck is seen by another surveillance camera at a Stop & Shop supermarket with a laundry basket and a red bag in the truck bed. Those items were not in the truck when Rintala returned to Granby, Gagne said. Police have not recovered those items.
Gagne suggested that Rintala used a shovel to hack at the door jamb in an effort to make it look like the house was broken into. Police found the shovel in the house with flecks of paint from the jamb.
"This was not a crime committed by a random intruder," he said.
According to Gagne, a medical examiner determined that Rintala died between noon and 2 p.m. while Cara Rintala was still in the house along with the couple's daughter. The cause of death was strangulation, Gagne said, but the victim also suffered extensive bruising and deep scalp wounds.
Defense lawyer David P. Hoose told the judge he was not going to rebut Gagne's evidence point by point, but did say, "If this is such a strong case, I can't imagine why it took them 19 months to establish a case for probable cause (to obtain a grand jury indictment)."
Noose also said there are two people he described as "suspects" who had a clandestine relationship with Cochrane Rintala.
"She owed money to both of them," he said.
Noose argued that bail should be predicated on ensuring that the defendant shows up for trial. He asked that bail be set at $100,000 cash, an amount that would be onerous for Rintala's family, and asked that his client be released with an electronic monitoring device into the custody of an aunt.
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Josephson ordered Rintala held without right to bail, but said Hoose may come back and make another bail argument after he has had more time to review the prosecution's evidence. View/Post Comments
Carla Rintala murder trial set to begin as scheduled, lawyers agree
Cara Rintala murder trial in Granby death of her wife to begin in February
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