NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) - Northampton prosecutors who failed to get a murder conviction against Cara Rintala say that they want to put her back on trial, but it may take up to a year for that to happen.
The possible delay is because Cara Rintala's lawyer, David Hoose, is also the lead defense attorney for accused Northampton arsonist Anthony Baye .
Baye's trial is set to start in May, and on Wednesday, Hoose told Hampshire County Superior Court Judge Mary Lou Rup that he would not be able to litigate Rintala's case until next year.
Hoose says that if Rintala changes counsel, new defense lawyers will need at least six months to familiarize themselves with such a complex case.
Judge Rup declared a mistrial on Wednesday after a jury failed to reach a unanimous verdict in the case, in which Rintala was accused of killing her wife Annamarie Cochran Rintala. Cara Rintala is still in custody, pending a bail hearing on Monday. Her lawyers will ask for $50,000 bail, but First Assistant District Attorney Steven Gagne says the Commonwealth won't agree to that.
"Given the nature of the offense in this case, the potential penalty that Ms. Rintala faces if convicted, life in prison without the possibility of parole, we believe this is a case where she should be held without bail until this case goes to trial," Gagne said.
He told 22News that the mistrial is not a reflection of the strength of the evidence. Gagne plans to ask for a new trial date during a bail review hearing on March 25 at Franklin Superior Court in Greenfield.