Cara Rintala Trial: Live updates from Da...
9:03 a.m. Fred Contrada reporting in for The Republican on the trial of Cara Rintala. The jury is waiting to come into the courtroom. The judge has told the lawyers that one juror reported that he might have worked with one of the witnesses. They will bring him in and ask if he can still render an impartial judgment.
Wednesday February 27, 2013 9:05 
9:04 a.m. They are talking to the juror at sidebar, so we can't hear the discussion. This is not unusual, especially during a long trial with a lot of witnesses. Hampshire County is a relatively small place and it's almost inevitable that a juror knows someone involved in the trial, either directly or indirectly. I often recognize a juror or two, though not in this trial. If I do, I'm careful to avoid him or her until after the trial is over.
Wednesday February 27, 2013 9:08 
9:08 a.m. The juror is still seatred so they must have decided his familiarity with the witness is not a problem.
Caroline Tatro is still on the stand from yesterday. She is a forensic scientist who specializes in detecting, testing and collecting samples of blood, hair and other such evidence. Gagne is showing a photo of the workbench in the Rintala basement. A close-up shows a bent door latch. Tatro tested it for DNA from skin cells. Tatro refers to prints from Carla Daniele, DNA from Mark Oleksak and prints from Oleksak, all of which have been entered into evidence.
Gagne done. Hoose on cross.
Wednesday February 27, 2013 9:14 
9:14 a.m. Hoose: You've had to refer to your notes because there is a lot to refer to.
Tatro: Yes.
Wednesday February 27, 2013 9:17 
[Comment From Scott CheggScott Chegg: ] 
Is Mark, the man who exchanged affectionate texts with Annamarie, on the witness list?
Wednesday February 27, 2013 9:17 Scott Chegg
9:16 a.m. Yes.
Wednesday February 27, 2013 9:17 
9:17 a.m. Hoose refers to Tatro's report concerning the laundry basket. She reads that there were dark red scuff marks on the basket.
Wednesday February 27, 2013 9:19 
[Comment From guestguest: ] 
Do you know what carla's connection is to this case?
Wednesday February 27, 2013 9:19 guest
9:18 a.m. Rather than speculate, I would rather report how this plays out in the trial.
Wednesday February 27, 2013 9:19 
9:19 a.m. Hoose: The scuff marks were not blood, right?
Tatro: Yes.
Hoose is pressing her about how she decided which areas of the basket to test and how she handled the stains. He refers to the photo of the blood stain. Positive, he says, means it could be blood.
Wednesday February 27, 2013 9:24 
9:24 a.m. Hoose: You can't tell the age of a blood stain.
Tatro: Correct.
Hoose: That stain (on the rim of the basket) could have been there for a long time.
Tatro: Yes.
Wednesday February 27, 2013 9:29 
9:28 a.m. Hoose is asking her about DNA that gets transfered through skin cells. Asks if she is cautious about contaminating DNA samples. She says she is very cautious. He asks her about the rags she examined (she spoke of this yesterday). Tatro did not see the rags on a sheet of butcher paper in the house.
Hoose: Were you aware the rags were brought in from outside the crime scene?
Tatro: Yes.
Hoose: If you were in charge, you would never bring outside items to a crime scene.
Tatro: Says she would not.
Hoose asks if this is good practice. Gagne objects. Tatro says she would try to avoid it.
Wednesday February 27, 2013 9:33 
9:32 a.m. Hoose, with rag in hand, says heat and time are enemies of DNA. Asks Tatro if there are other stains on the rag. She says she did not determine what those stains are.
Wednesday February 27, 2013 9:36 
9:35 a.m. Hoose continues to ask Tatro about her testing of the rags. (These ostensible came from the trash can at McDonalds). Hoose says the Orthotolodine (sp?) is very sensitive. This is the substance they use to detect even minuiscule amounts of blood. They move on to Tatro's April 16, 2010 report.
Wednesday February 27, 2013 9:42 
9:41 a.m. Hoose shows Tatro a photo of the doormat (yesterday she testified it had a white residue on it). This photo has a black plastic piece in it, differentiating it from the photo entered into evidence yesterday. She doesn't know if her lab came into possession of the black piece of plastic.
Wednesday February 27, 2013 9:48 
9:48 a.m. Sometimes a line of questioning seems curious to the onlooker. The attorney will sometimes be laying a foundation for a later conclusion. Occasionally, he or she will state that conclusion while the witness is on the stand (this can bring an objection). At times, the attorney is simply trying to raise questions about the efficiency and propriety of an expert witness's work or the truth of a witness.
Wednesday February 27, 2013 9:51 
9:51 p.m. Hoose asking about the hairs found on Annamarie's body. No witness to this point has ventured an opinion about whose hairs they are.
Hoose: Correct me if I'm wrong. You examined a lot of hairs in this case. (Shows her a "hair examination sheet"). (This sheet offers a lot of information about a hair).
Wednesday February 27, 2013 9:56 
9:55 a.m. Hoose: You noted there was an earring on the carpet. Tatro said she did not collect that item. He is questioning her about her description of the paint bucket and lid.
Hoose shows her a photo that shows the paint bucket is on top of the lid. Tatro previously said the lid was beside the bucket.
Wednesday February 27, 2013 10:01 
10:01 a.m. Asking about the trace evidence (hairs) taken from the victim at the scene. You noted that there was additional "debris," Hoose says. What kind of debris?
Tatro can't say.
Tatro, in response to questioning, says that some hairs were identified as cat hair.
Hoose asks about traces taken from the vacuum at the scene. Tatro said she only noted animal hairs on the report she has.
Wednesday February 27, 2013 10:07 
10:06 a.m. You might notice that this is not like a TV trial where one side will undermine the other's position with spectacular surprises. Real law is usually much more laborious and subtle.
Wednesday February 27, 2013 10:09 
10:09 a.m. Hoose is going over the items collected as evidence one by one. The animal hairs. The human hairs.
Hoose asks is Tatro knows what Locard's Principle (sp?) is. She says its the science of forensics as regards the transfer of evidence from one location to another.
Wednesday February 27, 2013 10:13 
10:13 a.m. Hoose asks Tatro about her examination of jewelry taken from the defendant. A ring. A bracelet. (She testified yesterday she saw paint on the bracelet). Hoose asks why she didn't test the bracelet for blood? She said she did test it but it proved negative.
He shows photo of pendant with what appears to be blood stains. Hoose says the chain and the pendant on it appear to be made from different metals.
Wednesday February 27, 2013 10:18 
10:17 a.m. Hoose asks about false positives with the blood screening test.
Hoose: We can't say this is human blood on that necklace?
Tatro: Correct.
Hoose: Certain metals can cause false positives. You can't tell us if the necklace has any of those metals in it.
Wednesday February 27, 2013 10:23 
10:22 a.m. Hoose: You'd be expected to get DNA off the necklace.
Wednesday February 27, 2013 10:24 
11:24 a.m. A few years ago we had a Ware murder case in which they identified the perpetrator by the DNA he left on a cigarette. He used the cigarette to prop up the window through which he entered before killing an elderly women. The defendant thought he was safe because he did not smoke the cigarette and could not have left DNA on it. However, he kept it behind his ear and they got skin cells off it, which included his DNA. He was sentenced to life in prison.
Wednesday February 27, 2013 10:27 
10:26 a.m. Hoose continues to ask detailed questions about evidence that was tested, particularly blood evidence.
Wednesday February 27, 2013 10:29 
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
will someone be testifing to all the DNA collected off various items and to the hair, and blood as well?
Wednesday February 27, 2013 10:29 Guest
10:29 a.m. I would expect so.
Wednesday February 27, 2013 10:29 
10:29 a.m. Hoose now addressing the blood spot on the shower curtain. Tatro says it's not unusual to find a blood stain inside a shower stall and so did not collect the sample on the shower curtain.
Wednesday February 27, 2013 10:32 
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
are annamarie parents and family there today?
Wednesday February 27, 2013 10:32 Guest
10:31 a.m. Yes. They have been here every day.
Wednesday February 27, 2013 10:32 
10:32 a.m. The defendant who was convicted of the Ware killing is Nathan Ruell.
Wednesday February 27, 2013 10:37 
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
if my memory serves me correctly we are only on about witness 10 or so, and there was a list of over 100 names as witness. How do they only think that the trial is only going to take 4 weeks. We are on day 10, and I'm sure it hasn't evedn placed a dent in what's to come? Do you think it could last longer then 4 weeks?
Wednesday February 27, 2013 10:37 Guest
10:37 a.m. About a dozen witnesses have taken the stand. Not everyone on the list will be called. e.g. Roy Dupuis, the next door neighbor testified. His wife is also on the list but she waqs not called. Each side has discretion about whom to call.
Wednesday February 27, 2013 10:39 
10:39 a.m. Hoose is conferring with his partner Luke Ryan. He says he has no further questions. Gagne on re-direct.
Wednesday February 27, 2013 10:40 
10:40 a.m. Gagne goes back to the laundry basket, shows photo of stain. Hoose was essentially questioning the accuracy of the way evidence was identified, gathered and examined. Gagne is trying to reinforce the efficiency and accuracy of that system through his questions to Tatro. This literally comes down to splitting hairs.
Wednesday February 27, 2013 10:44 
10:44 a.m. When lawyers work in teams, as these are, the questioner often consults with the partner before concluding, as Hoose did, to see if there is anything they have talked about that was missed or other issues the partner has spotted.
Wednesday February 27, 2013 10:48 
10:47 a.m. Gagne asks about her paint bucket/lid testimony. He shows a photo on which it is difficult to judge whether the lid is next to or under the bucket because of all the paint on them. He asks her about the cat hairs. He asks about her examination of a belt and buckle. Gagne brings up the topic of a second belt. Hoose objects. They go to sidebar.
Wednesday February 27, 2013 10:57 
10:57 a.m. Gagne puts on latex gloves, takes a pair of pint-covered jeans out of an evidence bag. Takes out a belt that was attached to the jeans. Tatro measures the belt at Gagne's direction: 38 1/2 inches.
Gagne done. Hoose on re-cross.
Wednesday February 27, 2013 11:00 
11 a.m. Is it fair to say the hair in the door jamb the same length as hairs on victim's body? Tatro says yes.
Hoose: You know the difference between "on top of" and "next to."
Ends re-cross.
Wednesday February 27, 2013 11:03 
11:03 a.m. Break for recess. Back at 11:20 a.m.
Wednesday February 27, 2013 11:04 
11:21 a.m. Waiting for the judge and jury. Re the rules of questioning, the attrorney on direct cannot bring up a new subject on re-direct unless he claims that the cross-examiner "opened the door" during his or her questioning. When this claim is made there is usually an objection and an argument. So the person on direct must be careful to include the whole scope of his/her planned questioning the first time around.
Wednesday February 27, 2013 11:24 
11:24 a.m. Clarification about the blood on the shower curtain. There were TWO drops of blood. One on the outside of the liner and one on the inside. The one on the outside was tested. Tatro said they did not test the drop non the inside becuase that is not an unusual place for blood to be found.
Wednesday February 27, 2013 11:26 
11:26 a.m. Gagne calls Erin Karella, state police trooper. She is in the crime scene servies unit. Her job is to take photos and video the crime scene. She also collects evidence. She was called to the Rintala crime scene. Took lots of photos.
Wednesday February 27, 2013 11:33 
[Comment From DODO: ] 
What relevance was the DNA from Carla and mark it seems they didn't eloboraate why it was collected
Wednesday February 27, 2013 11:34 DO
11:33 a.m. These answers are most likely yet to come.
Wednesday February 27, 2013 11:34 
11:34 a.m. Gagne shows Karella photos she took. Paint bucket and lid on basement floor. Shovel standing outside the door.
Wednesday February 27, 2013 11:41 
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
do you know when the ME will be called?
Wednesday February 27, 2013 11:41 Guest
11:40 a.m. No.
Wednesday February 27, 2013 11:41 
11:41 a.m. Karella saw wood chips on the door mat, points them out in photo. She points out a small piece of black plastic. She collected this evidence.
Wednesday February 27, 2013 11:46 
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