Cara Rintala Trial: Live updates from Da...
9;05 A.M. Fred Contrada signing in for The Republican for live coverage of the Cara Rintala murder trial. Day 5 of testimony. We ended yesterday with Jennifer Preisig, a forensic scientist with the state police, on the stand. She was testifying about finding blood drops on a laundry basket in Annamarie Rintala's car and examining other objects for blood. Sgt. Chris Ray of the state police had earlier testified that he retrieved a pink cloth diaper and some rags from a trash can at a McDonalds in Holyoke after seeing what he believed was Cara Rintala's truck in the parking lot there. The objects from that can were laid out on butcher paper in the Rintala home for Preisig to test.
Tuesday February 26, 2013 9:10 
9:09 a.m. The judge and lawyers are talking at sidebar. Sidebar is called when lawyers want to talk to the judge out of the hearing of the public. The substance of those talks is usually available in the trial transcripts later on.
Tuesday February 26, 2013 9:11 
9:12 a.m. Rup is advising the jury that the court will be in touch in case tomorrow's weather necessitates some delay in the trial.
Tuesday February 26, 2013 9:15 
9:14 a.m. Preisig still on the stand under questioning by prosecutor Steven Gagne. She takes a pink rag from an evidence bag. She holds it up for the jury. It's dark pink, almost maroon. Judge Mary-Lou Rup admits it as evidence.
Tuesday February 26, 2013 9:21 
9:20 a.m. Preisig takes a second rag out of the evidence bag. This rag is gray. Rup admits it as evidence over the objection of defense attorney David Hoose.
Tuesday February 26, 2013 9:23 
9:23 a.m. Preisig takes out a pink cloth diaper, the thid piece of evidence she examined. Admitted as evidence despite defense objection. (The defense might have detailed the reasons for its objections at sidebar. I do not recall hearing it in open court).
Tuesday February 26, 2013 9:25 
9:26 a.m. Preisig collected a similar pink cloth diaper from under the sink in the Rintala house when she was there on April 1, 2010. No one has said so, but it is possibly being admitted for comparison to the diaper from the McDonald's trash.
Tuesday February 26, 2013 9:29 
9:29 a.m. Preisig has been presented with a brown paper evidence bag much bigger than the others. Inside is the laundry basket. It's a white plastic basket similar to those many people have in their homes.
Tuesday February 26, 2013 9:31 
9:31 a.m. Gagne done. Rup goes off the bench for a brief recess. The questioning of witnesses in a trial goes like this: direct questioning by the side that calls the witness, cross examination by the other side. There may then be re-direct, in which the primary questioner usually tries to undo whatever damage the other side has done on cross. Sometimes there is re-cross, in which the other side tries to do the same thing. Very rarely there is another round of questioning that usually consists of a single question.
Tuesday February 26, 2013 9:36 
9:35 a.m. Hoose on cross is questioning Preisig about the details of her examination at the house and in the lab. Preisig acknowledges that she found no blood traces in the bed of Rintala's pickup truck. The door handle also tested negative.
Tuesday February 26, 2013 9:41 
9:40 a.m. Preisig said the chemical they use to detect blood works at a ratio of up to 1 drop of blood in 20,000 drops of some other liquid. Hoose said the chemical is known to show false positives in reaction to things like household cleaners. Preisig shows where she found the brown stain on the laundry basket. The stain is no longer visible because examiners took a swab of it.
Tuesday February 26, 2013 9:46 
2:46 a.m. Hoose asks about the rags on the butcher paper, says someone brought them from outside the house to the crime scene. Preisig confirms.
Tuesday February 26, 2013 9:51 
9:51 a.m. Preisig testifies that evidence is stored in a cold room to prevent degradation. She seized a belt near the side door of the Rintala house. Hoose done with cross. Gagne on re-direct. He asks about confirmatory testing. Sometimes this cannot be done because the sample is too small. Preisig steps down.
Tuesday February 26, 2013 9:57 
9:56 p.m. Gagne calls Caroline Tatro. She is a forensic scientist at the state police crime lab.
Tuesday February 26, 2013 10:00 
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
When possible, please give us the link to the archived blogs for the first eight days of the trial. Thank you.
Tuesday February 26, 2013 10:01 Guest
10 a.m. Sorry, I don't know how to access them if they exist. Someone from MassLive can better help with this.
Tuesday February 26, 2013 10:01 
@Guest -- Previous coverage is available here:

Greg Saulmon / The Republican
Tuesday February 26, 2013 10:02 
10:01 a.m. Tatro, like Preisig, sat in her car overnight at 18 Barton St., waiting for a warrant. It rained that night. The next morning she went first to the garage entrance, noticed a shovel outside the garage door. The prosecution theorizes that Rintala used the shovel to smash the doorway so it would look like someone broke into the house. The defense disputes this.
Tuesday February 26, 2013 10:05 
10:05 a.m. Tatro testifies that she found white residue on the shovel's tip and handle
Tuesday February 26, 2013 10:08 
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
question about yesterday's viewing of the crime scene. So the new owner of the home had no choice in the matter but to allow this? I wonder if that was a condition when they bought the home.
Tuesday February 26, 2013 10:08 Guest
10:07 a.m. I don't know the answer to this.
Tuesday February 26, 2013 10:08 
10:08 a.m. Gagne shows photos showing white residue on shovel. Tatro took samples of the residue.
Tuesday February 26, 2013 10:13 
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
what is caras overall deminer today?
Tuesday February 26, 2013 10:13 Guest
10:12 a.m. My view of Cara is slightly blocked. I can't look at her as often as I would because I am busy blogging. She has been emotional at times but more often than not appears to be collected.
Tuesday February 26, 2013 10:14 
[Comment From guestguest: ] 
how long do u think the trial will last?
Tuesday February 26, 2013 10:14 guest
10:13 a.m. At least two more weeks.
Tuesday February 26, 2013 10:14 
10:14 a.m. Gagne is methodically having the witness retrace the chain of custody for the evidence. This proved to be a big problem in the OJ trial. Tatro testifies that she examined the Ford Explorer inside the garage for blood, found none. She wnet into the home.
Tuesday February 26, 2013 10:19 
10:18 a.m. As a reminder, Tuesdays and Thursdays are half days in this trial, so testimony today will conclude at 1 p.m.
Tuesday February 26, 2013 10:20 
10:19 a.m. Tatro points out in a photo wood chips on the mat in front of the door to the house.
Tuesday February 26, 2013 10:22 
[Comment From guestguest: ] 
is the court room full?
Tuesday February 26, 2013 10:22 guest
10:22 a.m. No.
Tuesday February 26, 2013 10:22 
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
what is the purpose of the half days?
Tuesday February 26, 2013 10:22 Guest
10:22 a.m. The court has to deal with other cases.
Tuesday February 26, 2013 10:23 
10:22 a.m. Gagne shows a close-up of a hair in the weather stripping on the door jamb. Tatro notes the door jamb was damaged. Gagne offers into evidence photos of the damage.
Tuesday February 26, 2013 10:25 
10:25 a.m. In photo of door jamb are what appear to be hack marks. Tatro took a paint sample from the foor jamb.
Tuesday February 26, 2013 10:30 
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
What time did Cara call 911. After eading the Texts from Cara and Anne's phones. It sound as if Cara was trtying to contact Anne until around 5pm. If memory serves me right, didnt the respondign emt's say the riga mortus had set in meaning the body had been lifeless for several hours.
Tuesday February 26, 2013 10:30 Guest
10:30 a.m. You're getting into the complicated time line, which the defense disputes. It might be better to let witness testimony outline this little by little during the trial. I expect the medical examiner will be more specific when she testifies.
Tuesday February 26, 2013 10:32 
10:32 a.m. Tatro noted red-brown stains on basement steps. Gagne shows photos. Tape marks stains found on second and third steps from the top. Those stains, Tatro said, tested positive for blood. She pointed out similar stains of some lower steps, also positive for blood. Stain on post next to steps. She calls it a "transfer stain."
Tuesday February 26, 2013 10:37 
10:36 a.m. Stains on bottom step. Looking down stairs, there was a transfer stain on left wall, Tatro said. Photo shows the stain on the wall and three "finger swipes." All stains positive for blood. Hoose asks to be heard at sidebar.
Tuesday February 26, 2013 10:42 
[Comment From guestguest: ] 
whos finger swipes?
Tuesday February 26, 2013 10:44 guest
10:43 a.m. No one has suggested an answer to this to this point.
Tuesday February 26, 2013 10:44 
10:44 a.m. Gagne shows photo that reveals a red brown stain near top of steps on right looking down. Tatro said it tested positive for blood. Tatro testifies about the position of Annamarie's body at the bottom of the stairs. It was covered with paint, she said. There were red-brown stains near the body on the floor.
Tuesday February 26, 2013 10:49 
10:48 a.m. Tatro said there were hairs at the crime scene on the body. There were hairs on Annamarie's chest and hands.
Tuesday February 26, 2013 10:52 
[Comment From guestguest: ] 
Are there anyone in court showing support for cara
Tuesday February 26, 2013 10:53 guest
10:52 a.m. I believe so, but I have not approached them.
Tuesday February 26, 2013 10:53 
10:53 a.m. Gagne shows photo of Annamarie's bloody right hand. You can see some hairs on her fingers. A photo of her left hand also shows hairs. Her left hand appears swollen and red with pooled blood. Photo of Annamarie's chest with more hairs. You can see her face, which is half-covered with paint. Her eyes are open.
Tuesday February 26, 2013 10:58 
10:57 a.m. Rup calls a recess. Tatro still on stand.
Tuesday February 26, 2013 10:58 
11:16 a.m. Back in court awaiting the jury. I have learned this about Cara's family: Her step-father is here in court nearly every day, along with about a half dozen friends and family of Cara. Cara's mother attended one or two court events but stays home to take care of Brianna. Also, the court procedure is understandably stressful for her.
Tuesday February 26, 2013 11:19 
[Comment From guestguest: ] 
i dont recall you saying her parents have been there threw this trial. but anns parents have been there since jury selection is my memory serving me correctly.
Tuesday February 26, 2013 11:20 guest
[Comment From Scott CheggScott Chegg: ] 
How many other reporters have been covering the trial? Are any from outside of Western Mass?
Tuesday February 26, 2013 11:20 Scott Chegg
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