Rintala faces a 3rd murder trial despite two mistrials

Court will reconvene in the Rintala murder retrial.
Court will reconvene in the Rintala murder retrial.

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – Northampton prosecutors say they plan to try Cara Rintala on a murder charge again.

Despite two hung juries and two mistrials, prosecutors say they still have probable cause to put her on trial. Rintala was arrested on a murder indictment in October of 2011.

“You got to learn how to move on in life. I feel like it’s just a waste of time at this moment in time. It’s a mistrial, twice,” said Robert Hicks of Northampton.

For the last year, Northwestern District prosecutors have been trying to prove Cara Rintala killed her wife in their Granby home in 2010. Critics say the trial revolves around circumstantial evidence.

Northampton Attorney James Winston says the Commonwealth still has a grand jury indictment establishing probable cause.  And with that, they can try her as many times as they want.

“As long as double jeopardy doesn’t attach, the Commonwealth can bring the same charges against the defendant really an endless amount of times.  However, if double jealousy attaches, if a jury reaches a unanimous verdict, that certainly would be double jeopardy,” said Winston inside his Main Street office.

In the case of the Commonwealth vs. James Keath, an eastern Massachusetts man was accused of kidnapping and first degree murder.  He was indicted in 1978 but wasn’t convicted until his fourth trial in the year 2000.

“Well, if you had a mistrial you should be entitled to as many trials as it takes to get a verdict,” said Mike Doyle in Northampton on Monday.

Following the second mistrial, a Hampshire County Superior Court Judge granted bail for Rintala at $150,000.

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