Cara Rintala Trial: Live updates from Da...
9:13 a.m. Court is just beginning for the day. The jury pool today is about 50, smaller than Monday's. Judge Mary-Lou Rup is describing the case and going over the questions she will ask jurors, as she did Monday.
Tuesday February 12, 2013 9:15 
9:15 a.m. Each side gets 16 peremptory challeneges with which they can dismiss a juror without explanation. On Monday, the defense used four of them, the prosecution two.
Tuesday February 12, 2013 9:16 
9:26 A.M. As on Monday, Rup asked if anyone in the pool has hearing difficulties or trouble understanding English. None responded. The procedure is in the smaller courtroom in the newer wing today because the jury pool is smaller.
Tuesday February 12, 2013 9:28 
9:29 a.m. College students could lose a lot of school time sitting on this jury. Rup acknowledged that and said she would work with any juror in those circumstances to see if they could make allowances.
Tuesday February 12, 2013 9:31 
9:31 a.m. Rup explained that jury duty is a civic responsibility. Although it might be inconvenient, most jurors ultimately find the experience fulfilling. This is boilerplate language but it is common wisdom that even reluctant jurors rise to the occasion and take jury duty very seriously.
Tuesday February 12, 2013 9:34 
9:46 a.m. Rup again said the trial could end as late as March 8. She explained that Cara Rintala has been charged with murder for killing her wife, Annamarie Cochrane Rintala. Cause of death was strangulation and blunt force injuries to her head. She has pleaded not guilty.
Tuesday February 12, 2013 9:49 
9:49 a.m. Rup asked if anyone has a personal or professional reason that would make it hard to sit through the entire case. 22 jurors, nearly half the pool, replied yes.
Tuesday February 12, 2013 9:51 
9:51 a.m. Have you read or heard anything about the case, made comments in the media about it or heard about it from any other source? Yes, said 22.
Tuesday February 12, 2013 9:54 
9:58 a.m. The lawyers on both sides introduced themselves. They are Steven Gagne and Jennifer Suhl with the Northwestern DA's office, David Hoose and Luke Ryan for the defense. The defense counsel introduced Rintala, who looked a bit emotional.
Tuesday February 12, 2013 10:00 
10:01 a.m. Rup reads the names of potential witnesses from the Granby police and fire departments, the Ludlow fire department, the state police, the attoreney general and medical examiner's offices and a long list of civilians. She also named the victim, Annamarie Rintala. She asked if anyone in the pool is related to any of them or has a presonal or professional relationship with any. None of the names triggered a positive response.
Tuesday February 12, 2013 10:07 
10:07 a.m. Rup explained the legal concepts of burden of proof, reasonable doubt and presumption of innocence. Does everyone understand? Does anyone disagree. No affirmative responses.
Tuesday February 12, 2013 10:10 
10:10 a.m. Testimony at trial will include crime scene videotape of the victim's body and autopsy photos. Would this upset anyone to the point that they could not remain fair and open-minded? Two people said yes.
Tuesday February 12, 2013 10:12 
10:12 a.m. Rintala faces a charge of first degree murder. Conviction of first degree murder carries a mandatory sentence of life in prison without the possbiility of parole. Conviction of Second degree murder carries a sentence of life WITH possibility of parole. The prosecution must satisfy at leat one of three elements for first degree murder: that it was premeditated OR was done with extreme attrocity OR that it was committed in the course of commiting another felony. In this case, the prosecution is saying that the murder was premeditated AND committed with extreme attrocity (Cochrane Rintala was beaten and strangled to death). If it gets that far, the defense will undoubtedly argue those elements.
Tuesday February 12, 2013 10:17 
10:20 a.m. Rup outlined some questions she will ask at individual voir dire. Would anyone be troubled by the fact that Cara and Annamarie were a gay married couple and that they adopted a two-year-old girl was were raising her together. Would testimony of domestic disturbances, or that restraining orders were taken out by both women affect anyone's ability to be fair? Would anyone give testimony by a police witness more or less weight than that of another witness.
Tuesday February 12, 2013 10:28 
10:35 a.m. The first six jurors have been excused. Yesterday they seated five jurors out of a pool of 75.
Tuesday February 12, 2013 10:36 
10:42 a.m. They have seated juror number six, a man. There are now three men and three women on the jury.
Tuesday February 12, 2013 10:43 
10:44 a.m. The jury pool was so big for the Kristen Gilbert murder trial in 2000 that they had to use Symphony Hall in Springfield. It took a month to pick a jury from a pool of 605 people. Because it was a federal trial, Gilbert was eligible for the death penalty, which she narrowly avoided. She was charged with killing veterans who were patients at the VA in Leeds, where she worked as a nurse. She was found guilty of killing four patients. Prosecutors have since theorized that she killed scores, which would make her perhaps the most prollific female serial killer in U.S. history.
Tuesday February 12, 2013 10:51 
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
are both the Rintala's and the Cochranes families present in court?
Tuesday February 12, 2013 10:55 Guest
10:55 a.m. Annamarie's parents have been in court throughout. I do not believe Rintala's family is here.
Tuesday February 12, 2013 10:56 
11:04 a.m. Jury selection at shorter trials often takes less than a day.
Tuesday February 12, 2013 11:05 
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
Annamarie's parents,family and friends will be there right thru everything.
Tuesday February 12, 2013 11:06 Guest
11:23 a.m. I have been occasionally misspelling the victim's name. It is Annamarie with an A.
Tuesday February 12, 2013 11:25 
11:32 a.m. They have resumed jury selection.
Tuesday February 12, 2013 11:33 
11:41 a.m. Grand jury selection goes a little differently. There are about twice the number of jurors than for a trial. The winnowing process is a bit less intense. In Hampshire County, grand juries meet on Tuesday's, once or twice a month. Service on a grand jury normally lasts several months, but sometimes a grand jury will remain intact for a year or more if it is hearing a particular case that is on-going. You do not need unanimity for a grand jury to indict. Also, the standard is lower for indictment than for a verdict at trial. At trial, a juror must believe beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant is guilty to vote guilty. On a grand jury you need to believe that the prosecution simply has enough evidence to bring the charge.
Tuesday February 12, 2013 11:49 
11:59 A.M. In the Gilbert case there were six alternates, one of whom was dismissed by the judge without explanation. That trial lasted four months. During that time, the jurors had to face snowstorms and illness to get to court. Once, the judge delayed the trial for a day when a juror called in sick. At other times, jurors came to court despite having the flu.
Tuesday February 12, 2013 12:01 
12:15 a.m. They are more than half way through the jury pool and have seated only one juror.
Tuesday February 12, 2013 12:16 
12:17 p.m. There are differing opinions as to whether or not an unwilling juror is a bad juror. Such a juror might not be disposed or indisposed toward either side. I once saw a juror demand of a judge how much longer the trial would continue after the defendant left the courtroom. Ther judge replied with courtesy and restraint.
Tuesday February 12, 2013 12:19 
[Comment From cylcyl: ] 
Does Cara Rintala still have custody of the couple's daughter?
Tuesday February 12, 2013 12:31 cyl
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
when will opening statements be given?
Tuesday February 12, 2013 12:32 Guest
12:32 p.m. My recollection is that Cara Rintala's step-father had custody of the daughter, though this was a while back. I'll try to find out. I don't know when they will make opening statements. It depends on when they get a jury. Not today, probably not tomorrow. Monday is a holiday so there will not be court.
Tuesday February 12, 2013 12:34 
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
Is the accused free on bail?
Tuesday February 12, 2013 12:35 Guest
12:35 p.m. Cara Rintala is in custody. I believe she is being held without right to bail. The defense filed a motion a while back to release her into the custody of a church she belongs to, but I do not believe it was granted.
Tuesday February 12, 2013 12:37 
12:42 p.m. I'm told there are 7 jurors seated, two today. I aqpparently missed one. Whether or not they are dismissed, the members of the jury pool leave by the same door. There is no public announcement that a juror has been seated.
Tuesday February 12, 2013 12:44 
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
are they allowing cameras in the court room once the trial officially begins?
Tuesday February 12, 2013 12:48 Guest
12:48 p.m. It is unusual to bar cameras from the courtroom in Superior Court, but the judge can limit the number.
Tuesday February 12, 2013 12:49 
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
Does "Court TV" have permission to film this?
Tuesday February 12, 2013 12:57 Guest
12:57 p.m. Court TV would have to ask for permission like anyone else. It would then be up to the judge.
Tuesday February 12, 2013 12:58 
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
this is great thanks for doing it!
Tuesday February 12, 2013 12:58 Guest
12:58 p.m. They seated juror number 8. Half way there. Four men, four women.
Tuesday February 12, 2013 12:59 
1:04 p.m. They are voir diring the last person before the lunch break. There are nine members of the pool left. I hear the pool for tomorrow is small, about 20. They could put off jury selection tomorrow and merge that with Friday's pool.
Tuesday February 12, 2013 1:06 
1:09 p.m. They are breaking for lunch. Back at 2:15 p.m.
Tuesday February 12, 2013 1:11 
2:35 p.m. Court back in session. Thre of four jurors left. The plan now is to save tomorrow small jury pool and merge if with the Thursday pool, so there will be no jury selection tomorrow.
Tuesday February 12, 2013 2:37 
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
How many members of the jury pool are left, and how many will be called tomorrow?
Tuesday February 12, 2013 2:37 Guest
[Comment From GuestGuest: ] 
Why merge with Friday? Is there no selection on Thursday?
Tuesday February 12, 2013 2:37 Guest
2:37 p.m. I was able to learn that Rintala is indeed being hled without right to bail and that a judge denied a motion to put her in the custody of her church. As far as I am able to determine, the child of Annamarie and Cara is living with Rintala's parents. Family courts are often stingy with this information to protect the child's privacy.
Tuesday February 12, 2013 2:40 
2:40 P.M. When using their peremptory challenges I believe the lawyers on both sides have access to more detailed information about the jurors, most of it from the jury questionnaires.
Tuesday February 12, 2013 2:42 
2:41 p.m. I'm told there is no jury pool on Friday, so if they don't get a jury Thursday it could continue into next Tuesday. Monday is a holiday. The jury pools are determined by Boston, which summons people to duty without an eye toward specific trials and their needs. It might be done by computer, but I can't say for sure.
Tuesday February 12, 2013 2:44 
2:44 p.m. The panel has been exhausted. There are eight jurors seated, eight to go.
Tuesday February 12, 2013 2:45 
[Comment From guestguest: ] 
Is the trial open to the public or is it private trial
Tuesday February 12, 2013 4:03 guest
4:02 p.m. It is open to the public, space permitting. The court belongs to the people.
Tuesday February 12, 2013 4:03 
Thank you for reading today's coverage of jury selection in the Cara Rintala trial. We'll be back on Thursday when jury selection will continue.
Tuesday February 12, 2013 4:56 
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