Cara Rintala Trial: Live updates from Da...
 
9:13
9:15 a.m. Defense attorneys, prosecutors and court staff are in the courtroom waiting for jurors to come in and for Superior Court Judge Mary Lou Rup to begin jury selection for the day in the Cara L. Rintala murder case.

Rintala is charged with murdering her wife Annamarie Cochrane Rintala, 37.

Cochrane Rintala was found beaten and strangled to death in the couple's Granby home on March 29, 2010.
Thursday February 14, 2013 9:13 
9:20
9:20: About 50 prospective jurors have entered the room. Rup is giving them general information about the selection process.
Thursday February 14, 2013 9:20 
9:24
9:25 a.m. After two full days of jury selection Monday and Tuesday, the court has seated eight of 16 jurors needed for the trial. If eight more are seated today the trial can begin Friday. There was no jury selection Wednesday.

If there are not enough jurors seated today, there are no prospective jurors called in on Fridays and Monday is a holiday, so jury selection would resume Tuesday.
Thursday February 14, 2013 9:24 
9:31
9:32 a.m. Rup is now talking at the side of the bench, with lawyers and Rintala present, with three jurors who answered yes when the group was asked if anyone had hearing trouble or if English was not their first language.
Thursday February 14, 2013 9:31 
9:34
9:35 a.m. Two jurors who have hearing issues have been excused.
Thursday February 14, 2013 9:34 
9:42
9:42 a.m. As she did with jury pools Monday and Tuesday, Rup is explaining jury duty is a responsibility and only those with very significant hardships will be excused for personal reasons. She said in this county there are often full time students called in for jury duty and if there are full time students they should discuss that with her at the sidebar.

The trial is expected to take up to a month.
Thursday February 14, 2013 9:42 
9:50
9:50 a.m. Rup is explaining that all jurors will be questioned at sidebar one by one. She said at the end of the discussion at sidebar she will decide if the juror can be impartial and fair.

Then the prospective juror will be asked to step back and both defense and prosecution will tell Rup if they want to use one of their challenges to excuse the juror. If they don't challenge the juror, he or she will be seated.
Thursday February 14, 2013 9:50 
9:52
9:53 a.m. Rup tells prospective jurors she needs to fill eight more seats. She explains the case could take up to four weeks (including jury selection), potentially going up to March 8.
Thursday February 14, 2013 9:52 
9:56
9:56 a.m. Rup tells prospective jurors about the case, and explains Rintala has said she is not guilty of the accusation of murder.

Rup outlines the murder, and said the official cause of death was strangulation accompanied by blunt force trauma to the victim's head.
Thursday February 14, 2013 9:56 
9:59
10 a.m. A total of 28 jurors raised their juror cards when asked if they have personal or professional reasons why they couldn't serve the length of the trial.
Thursday February 14, 2013 9:59 
10:04
10:04 a.m. Ten people indicate they couldn't be fair because of the nature of the accusation.

When asked if they have read or heard anything about the case in the media or any other source, including social media, 29 people indicated they have.
Thursday February 14, 2013 10:04 
10:12
10:12 a.m. Rup reads off a list of 94 people on the witness list and tells prospective jurors some, but not most, of those will testify. She said they are all involved in the case. She will be asking people if they know any of them. If they do know any of them, they will discuss at sidebar if it would affect their impartiality.
Thursday February 14, 2013 10:12 
10:20
10:20 a.m. Rup explains the prosecution has to prove Rintala is guilty, and Rintala does not have to prove she is innocent. One juror said he would have difficulty applying that principal to this trial.

When told the case would involve graphic depictions of the crime scene and the condition of the victim, seven people said it would affect their impartiality.
Thursday February 14, 2013 10:20 
10:26
10:26 a.m. Have you expressed an opinion or formed an opinion about the case, Rup asks. Twelve people indicated they have.



Thursday February 14, 2013 10:26 
10:34
10:34 a.m. Rup now tells the group what she will ask at sidebar of jurors that are not excused for other reasons. She does not ask for a show of hands on those issues.

She said the defendant and victim were a gay married couple. She will ask if jurors are troubled by that relationship. She said the two had adopted a child who was two years old at the time of Cochrane Rintala's killing. She will ask if that would affect jurors impartiality.

There will be evidence about restraining orders and divorce proceedings between victim and defendant. Jurors will be asked if they have personal experience with violence or with restraining orders.

Thursday February 14, 2013 10:34 
10:39
10:39 a.m. Now the individual questioning at sidebar will begin. Rup is keeping the first 20 jurors in the courtroom and letting the rest go back temporarily to the more comfortable jury pool room.

Rup said jurors cannot use telephones or electronic devices and the television in that room will be off. That is to keep jurors from hearing or seeing anything about the case.
Thursday February 14, 2013 10:39 
10:44
10:44 a.m. Gathered at the side of the judge's desk to question jurors are Assistant District Attorneys Steven Gagne and Jennifer Suhl; defense lawyers David Hoose and Luke Ryan; and Rintala.

The discussion is being documented by the court reporter, or stenographer.

Defendants are not required to be at the sidebar conferences, but have every right to do so.

The first person called to sidebar is seated as a juror. A good start to the day.
Thursday February 14, 2013 10:44 
10:49
10:50 a.m. Sorry blog readers. This is where live blogging slows down some. The reason the individual questioning is at sidebar in hushed tones is so it can be private between the prospective juror and parties in the trial. So of course I can't report on those discussions.

I will be blogging when jurors are seated or excused, and with any other developments.
Thursday February 14, 2013 10:49 
10:59
11:00 a.m. Of the jurors seated earlier this week, four are men and four are women. The juror seated first thing today is a woman.

Two jurors are excused after a challenge is exercised by either defense or prosecution, it is not stated which.

Another juror is excused by the judge.

Thursday February 14, 2013 10:59 
11:10
11:10 a.m. A man is seated as a juror. That makes 2 today and 10 total so far.

Two more jurors are excused by the judge.
Thursday February 14, 2013 11:10 
11:16
11:16 a.m. Six more people are excused by the judge.
Thursday February 14, 2013 11:16 
11:19
11:19 p.m. The judge has called a morning recess of about 10 minutes.
Thursday February 14, 2013 11:19 
11:45
11:45 p.m. Rup is back on the bench and sidebar questioning of jurors one by one begins again. The sidebar discussions are being documented for the record by court reporter Lizz Marzano.

A woman is excused after a challenge by prosecution or defense. Two jurors are excused by the judge.
Thursday February 14, 2013 11:45 
11:51
11:52 a.m. Four more people are excused by the judge.
Thursday February 14, 2013 11:51 
11:55
11:55 a.m. Four more people excused by the judge.
Thursday February 14, 2013 11:55 
12:03
12:03 a.m. Two more people are excused by the judge. A man is seated on the jury, bringing total to three today, 11 in all. Five more needed with about the half the jury pool questioned so far today.
Thursday February 14, 2013 12:03 
12:10
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
who is present in court for Rintalas family?
Thursday February 14, 2013 12:10 Guest
12:12
The parents of the victim are in the courtroom with victim witness advocate Jackie Gaw as they have been every day of jury selection.
Thursday February 14, 2013 12:12 
12:13
12:15 p.m. Three more people have been excused by the judge.
Thursday February 14, 2013 12:13 
12:25
12:25 p.m. Three people are excused by the judge, and one by a challenge by prosecution or defense.
Thursday February 14, 2013 12:25 
12:29
12:30 p.m. Five more people are excused by the judge.
Thursday February 14, 2013 12:29 
12:35
12:35 p.m. Some people are excused right way after a short discussion. Others are excused after a much longer discussion. It appears there are quite a few college students in the jury pool, and Rup appears to be excusing many of them. A month away from college classes is a very long time.

Three more jurors have been accused by the judge and one by a lawyer challenge.
Thursday February 14, 2013 12:35 
12:38
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
is anyone present in courtroom for the defendant aside from her attys?
Thursday February 14, 2013 12:38 Guest
12:39
The only people in the courtroom this morning not on the jury pool are the victim's parents.

Thursday February 14, 2013 12:39 
12:45
12:45 p.m. The entire 50 plus people on the jury pool have been questioned and all have been excused except the three seated today. No prospective jurors are called in on Fridays. Monday is a holiday. So jury selection will resume Tuesday in an effort to get the five more jurors needed to reach the total of 16.
Thursday February 14, 2013 12:45 
12:46
[Comment From guestguest: ] 
Are they automatically dismissing potential jurors if they have personal/professional experience with domestic violence or with restraining orders, do you know?
Thursday February 14, 2013 12:46 guest
12:48
I can't answer that for you. Because the sidebar questioning is not public I do not know how the judge is handling that.
Thursday February 14, 2013 12:48 
12:52
12:52 p.m. The judge is telling the three seated jurors they will be called late morning Tuesday to be given an idea if the trial might start later Tuesday. The same is true for the eight jurors who were seated Monday and Tuesday and did not come in today.

Rup is giving the standard instructions to the three, including not to visit the site of the killing. She said once a full jury is chosen and sworn in, they will be brought to the site as a group with all parties involved in the trial and court officers.
Thursday February 14, 2013 12:52 
1:01
1 p.m. The trial is done for the day. Rup said 53 prospective jurors are called in for Tuesday and 20 for Wednesday.
Thursday February 14, 2013 1:01 
 
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