Cara Rintala Trial: Live updates from Da...
 
9:01
9 a.m. Cara L. Rintala has entered the courtroom with her lawyers, David Hoose and Luke Ryan. Judge Mary Lou Rup will be coming on the bench soon to begin day four of jury selection in the murder case against Rintala.

There are 11 jurors selected, leaving five seats to be filled.
Tuesday February 19, 2013 9:01 
9:06
9:06 a.m. Rup said even if a jury is selected today she does not expect there will be time for anything other than her preliminary instructions to the jury.
Tuesday February 19, 2013 9:06 
9:12
9:12 a.m. A total of 57 prospective jurors have entered the room. Before they came in Rup said she would not be able to give even her preliminary instructions if five jurors are selected today because the 11 jurors selected last week have not been asked to come in today.
Tuesday February 19, 2013 9:12 
9:17
9:17 a.m. Assistant District Attorney Steven Gagne told Rup, before jurors were brought in, he would like to put off going on a "view" of the site of the crime until early next week.

He said there are certain prosecution witnesses who have to testify this week due to scheduling issues, so that would be the reason to put off the view, which involves busing jurors to the crime site in Granby. In most cases, views are taken before any testimony.
Tuesday February 19, 2013 9:17 
9:24
9:24 a.m. For readers of this live blog last week, things will begin sounding very familiar. Rup, of course, follows the same procedure with each new jury pool. Right now court officers are giving out pencils to people who didn't bring anything with which to write.

Rup has asked them to note for themselves which questions they answer affirmatively so when she questions them at sidebar they will be asked more about. The judge also keeps an accounting of who answers yes to what questions.

Tuesday February 19, 2013 9:24 
9:24
9:24 a.m. Two people have been excused because of hearing issues, or because English is not their first language.
Tuesday February 19, 2013 9:24 
9:27
9:27 a.m. Rup said she will not excuse any jurors for personal or professional reasons unless she determines it is a real hardship. Civic obligations carry some degree of sacrifice, she said.

She said if a person is a full time student and feels it will be a hardship to miss so many classes they should tell her.
Tuesday February 19, 2013 9:27 
9:29
9:29 a.m. Rup said jurors who are seated and hear the case should expect to be proud of giving that service.
Tuesday February 19, 2013 9:29 
9:35
9:35 a.m. Rup said she will be reading the names of 94 people on the potential witness list, although "frankly" most of them will not testify. They all have something to do with the case, she said.

People will be asked if they know any of the people on the list, and if they do, that will be discussed when the person is called to the judge's bench.

Each person will be questioned privately by Rup with defense lawyers, prosecutors and Rintala also at the side of the bench.
Tuesday February 19, 2013 9:35 
9:43
9:43 a.m. Rup said the case, after the jury is selected, may take about three weeks. Court will run a full day Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. On Tuesdays and Thursdays the day will end at 1 p.m., she said.

She outlined the case the jurors will hear. She said Cara Rintala is charged with murder of her wife, Annamarie Cochrane Rintala inside their residence in Granby on March 29, 2010. The official cause of death is strangulation and blunt force injuries to the head. Cara Rintala denies the accusation.

Tuesday February 19, 2013 9:43 
9:45
9:45 a.m. A total of 23 people raised their hands when asked if they have personal or professional reasons they couldn't sit on the case.
Tuesday February 19, 2013 9:45 
9:50
9:50 a.m. Six people said they could not be impartial because of the nature of the case.

Asked if they have read or heard anything about the case, 27 people indicated they have.
Tuesday February 19, 2013 9:50 
9:51
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
aside from the Cochranes, who is present in court today?
Tuesday February 19, 2013 9:51 Guest
9:52
It appears the only people in the courtroom seats aside from prospective jurors are Cochrane Rintala's parents.
Tuesday February 19, 2013 9:52 
9:58
9:58 a.m. Rup is reading the witness list. When she reads the list of 30 State Police potential witnesses, the medical examiner, and a state Attorney General's office employee, five people said they know someone from that group.
Tuesday February 19, 2013 9:58 
10:02
10:02 a.m. After the long list of potential civilian witnesses are read, less than 10 people indicate they know any of them.
Tuesday February 19, 2013 10:02 
10:11
10:12 a.m. Rup said there will be evidence about the manner of Cochrane Rintala's death, including a videotape of a bloody crime scene and the condition of the victim's body there. Asked whether that would affect their impartiality, three people indicated it would.

The next question includes a number of parts, and asks if they, a family member or close friend have worked for, or are connected to, law enforcement members. Another part asks if they have worked with any organization dealing with domestic violence. A total of 21 people indicated affirmatively.

Eight people said they have already formed an opinion about the case.
Tuesday February 19, 2013 10:11 
10:18
10:18 a.m. Now Rup tells the group what else she will ask individually at sidebar if they have not already been excused. Cara Rintala and Annamarie Cochrane Rintala were a gay married couple. Jurors will be asked if that would make them impartial.

The two women adopted a child as a couple. They had domestic disturbances and each applied for and obtained restraining orders against each other. They instituted divorce procedures. Rup said jurors will be asked if that would influence them.

She will also ask if jurors have experience with crimes of violence, domestic violence or restraining orders.

Tuesday February 19, 2013 10:18 
10:23
10:23 a.m. Now the lengthy process of individual questioning at the judge's bench begins. The discussions are private so it is not possible to know why any juror is excused.
Tuesday February 19, 2013 10:23 
10:25
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
what is the demeanor of the defendant as Rup is instructing the jurors? does she make eye contact? any emotion from her?
Tuesday February 19, 2013 10:25 Guest
10:29
Cara Rintala is seated at the defense table which faces the judge. Just as her lawyers and prosecutors do, they look at the judge. I am seated behind all of them so see no faces.

After many years of covering trials, I am always uncomfortable reading anything into the demeanor of any defendant. My experience is that all parties reflect the seriousness and formality of the courtroom, which discourages shows of emotion. That, of course, is just my opinion and nothing else.
Tuesday February 19, 2013 10:29 
10:30
10:30 a.m. One man has been seated as a juror.
Tuesday February 19, 2013 10:30 
10:44
10:44 a.m. A woman is found impartial by the judge but excused after a challenge from defense or prosecution, it is not clear which side because the discussions are in hushed voices.

Two more jurors are excused.
Tuesday February 19, 2013 10:44 
10:48
10:48 a.m. Three more people are excused by the judge.
Tuesday February 19, 2013 10:48 
10:52
10:52 a.m. Three more people are excused by the judge.
Tuesday February 19, 2013 10:52 
10:56
10:56 a.m. One more excused by the judge but the next man is seated as a juror.
Tuesday February 19, 2013 10:56 
11:07
11:07 a.m. Two more people are excused quickly by the judge. After a very long sidebar discussion with the next prospective juror, the man is excused by what appears to be a defense challenge.
Tuesday February 19, 2013 11:07 
11:10
11:10 a.m. Another juror is excused by the judge. A morning break is called for about 15 minutes.
Tuesday February 19, 2013 11:10 
11:27
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
What's the ratio of the jury thus far,men to women that have been seated?
Tuesday February 19, 2013 11:27 Guest
11:28
So far there are eight men and five women seated on the jury.
Tuesday February 19, 2013 11:28 
11:40
11:40 a.m. Judge Rup is back on the bench. A woman has been seated on the jury, bringing the total to 14 people, eight men and six women.

Two more jurors are needed. Even though only 12 jurors will decide the case during deliberations, 16 are being selected. That is because if up to four jurors have to be excused during the trial for illness or other emergencies, the trial can still go on.

No one knows who the 12 deliberating jurors will be, and who will be the alternates, until jury deliberations are about to begin. Alternates are selected randomly. Alternates still come to court during jury deliberations and sit in a different room than deliberating jurors.

If a deliberating juror has to be excused, an alternate will be substituted. Judges often tell alternates they realize their job is particularly difficult, because they hear the whole trial and most likely will not deliberate.
Tuesday February 19, 2013 11:40 
11:54
11:55 a.m. The next person is excused by a challenge from defense or prosecution.

Several more people are excused by the judge. Then another is excused by a challenge from lawyers.

Prosecution and defense have 16 challenges each.



Tuesday February 19, 2013 11:54 
12:05
12:05 p.m. Three more people are excused by the judge. About half of the 57 jurors called in today are left to be questioned.
Tuesday February 19, 2013 12:05 
12:11
12:11 p.m. Another man has just been seated as a juror, bringing the count to nine men and six women.
Tuesday February 19, 2013 12:11 
12:21
12:21 p.m. Another man has been seated as a juror. That makes 10 men and six women.

After a conversation with the lawyers at sidebar, the judge has just decided to seat an additional juror, so selection will continue.

Before the session began today Judge Rup mentioned there could be a scheduling problem for a juror selected early last week. That could be the reason she has decided to seat 17, rather than 16, jurors.
Tuesday February 19, 2013 12:21 
12:34
12:33 p.m. Judge Rup is continuing to question jurors individually with the lawyers present at sidebar. The reason detailed questioning is done at sidebar in hushed voices is in large part so prospective jurors can answer honestly about things they might not feel comfortable saying in front of a whole courtroom.

Several more jurors are excused by the judge.





Tuesday February 19, 2013 12:34 
12:43
12:43 p.m. Another man has been seated as a juror. That makes 17 jurors, 11 men and six women. I am not sure why, but Rup is continuing to question people from the jury pool.

The plan as of last week was to seat a total of 16 jurors.
Tuesday February 19, 2013 12:43 
12:48
12:48 p.m. Another man has been seated on the jury. So there have been 18 jurors selected, 12 men and six women.
Tuesday February 19, 2013 12:48 
12:55
12:55 p.m. The seven jurors selected today have been brought into the courtroom. Rup is telling them to be ready for the 9 a.m. start of the trial Wednesday.

She said they, with the jurors selected last week, will hear preliminary instructions from her Wednesday morning.

Rup is warning the jurors to not read anything about the case either from online news sources or any other sources. She tells them not to post anything about jury service on social networks sites.
Tuesday February 19, 2013 12:55 
1:09
1:08 p.m. When the jurors selected today left, Rup said she expects to dismiss the last two jurors seated today if none of the jurors selected last week need to be excused for other reasons. So there would be 16 jurors hearings the case.

If any of the jurors selected last week need to be excused, she will have one or both of the two extra jurors selected today to fill in.

The trial is over until Wednesday morning.
Tuesday February 19, 2013 1:09 
 
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