No verdict again in Rintala case; mistrial declared

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – For the second time, a Hampshire County jury has failed to reach a verdict in the Cara Rintala murder case.

The jury was unable to reach a verdict after five days of deliberation in Rintala’s second trial for the killing of her wife, Annamarie Cochrane Rintala, and Judge Mary Lou Rup declared a mistrial.

The jury had handed Rup a note on Tuesday morning, stating that they were still deadlocked 8-4; the exact same deadlock they had on Friday.

It is a familiar outcome, as Rup had declared a mistrial in Rintala’s first murder case last year.

In 2010, Annamarie was found strangled in the basement of the couple’s Granby home. Cara Rintala was arrested the following year when she was living in Narragansett, Rhode Island.

In both trials, prosecutors had portrayed the couple’s marriage as troubled; saying that the two had previously separated, and been having financial problems.

Rintala’s attorney, David Hoose, countered that the couple had solved their marriage issues prior to Annamarie’s death, and said that the prosecution did not provide enough evidence for a guilty verdict.

In a news conference following Tuesday’s mistrial declaration, Assistant District Attorney Steven Gagne said that they are disappointed with the lack of a decision in this case, but added that it was difficult for the jury.

“Both sides desire a resolution in this matter, they deserve a verdict,” Gagne said.

“We can’t ignore the fact that we are asking 12 men and women chosen randomly from the community to convict not only a defendant of murder, but a female defendant of murder based exclusively on circumstantial evidence.”

He said that they are still evaluating what to do next, and will be consulting with Annamarie’s family to take into account their wishes on how to proceed.

“This process has taken an enormous toll on them, but they appear to be in this for the long haul,” he said.

Gagne said that both parties will be back in court next Tuesday to figure out what will happen going forward. As for Rintala, she will continue to be held without bail.

The Rintala case received nationwide attention in large part due to the fact that it is the first time a woman was put on trial for the killing of her lawful wife.

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