NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – Deliberations in Cara Rintala’s third murder trial started on Tuesday, which means Rintala’s fate will once again, be in the hands of the jury.
Annemarie Cochrane Rintala was found strangled to death in the basement of heir Granby home back in 2010. Rintala has been the lead suspect in the case over the past 6-years.
This is the third time Rintala’s being tried for the alleged murder. Her previous two trials were declared mistrials after the jury failed to reach unanimous verdicts.
The trial could end differently this time around. For the first time, jurors will be able to consider a manslaughter charge, instead of just 1st and 2nd degree murder.
During closing arguments on Monday, prosecutors told the jury that Rintala was in an unhealthy relationship, filled with arguments and fights. The defense said the Commonwealth doesn’t have proof to back up their allegations, arguing police failed to pursue other suspects, and ignored evidence.
Closing arguments ended on Monday, following two and a half weeks of testimony.
The jury now has four options:
- If they find Rintala guilty of killing her wife with premeditation, she would be convicted of 1st degree murder. That carries a mandatory sentence of life in prison.
- The jury could also convict her of 2nd degree murder. That would mean they found her guilty of intentionally killing her wife, but without premeditation. That carries a sentence of life in prison, with the eligibility for parole.
- The jury could also find her guilty of voluntary manslaughter, which would mean they believe she killed her wife in the heat of passion. That carries a sentence of up to 25 1/2 years in prison.
- The jury could also find Rintala not guilty. If that happened, she would be acquitted of all charges.
Jury deliberations will continue into Wednesday.
22News will continue following any developments in this trial on-air and online.