Cara Rintala appeal being considered by Supreme Judicial Court

Hampshire County

BOSTON (WWLP) – The state’s highest court is considering an appeal of the first-degree murder conviction of Cara Rintala in the 2010 killing of her wife Annamarie Cochrane Rintala.

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court is considering Rintala’s motion for a new trial and a new judge to be assigned to the case.

On March 29, 2010, first responders found Cara Rintala at the bottom of the basement stairs of the couple’s Granby home, cradling her wife’s body, which was covered in paint. Annamarie had been strangled to death.

Rintala first went on trial at Hampshire Superior Court in Northampton in 2013, but the case ended in a mistrial due to a hung jury. The second trial also ended without a verdict. She was finally convicted of first-degree murder in her third trial, held in 2016.

Lawyers for Rintala make several arguments for overturning the conviction, including questioning the medical examiner’s finding as to Annamarie’s time of death, disputing the validity of testimony from a “paint expert” who testified for the prosecution, and questioning whether Rintala’s due process rights were violated by being put on trial three times.

As the first woman charged with the killing of her lawful wife, Rintala’s case received nationwide attention, including an episode of Dateline NBC entitled “At the Bottom of the Stairs.”

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