NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – After two and a half days of deliberating, the 12-person jury reached a verdict in the Cara Rintala case.
The verdict was read in court and the jury found Rintala guilty of voluntary manslaughter in connection with the death of her wife, Anna-Marie Cochrane. Her bail has been revoked and she left the courtroom Thursday in handcuffs. Sentencing has been scheduled for Thursday, October 19th.
Voluntary manslaughter is a lesser-included offense of first-degree murder. The differences between the two is that first-degree murder requires a specific intent to kill with a deliberate premeditation or extreme cruelty. Voluntary manslaughter is when a murder is unplanned and typically takes place in a heat of passion or during sudden combat.
She faces up to 20 years in prison for the charge of voluntary manslaughter but has already spent more than seven years in confinement.
“Today’s verdict is the culmination of a long and winding journey toward justice for Annamarie Cochrane and her family,” said First Assistant D.A. Gagne. “We are thankful to the jury for the time and care they devoted toward their task.”
This is the fourth time Rintala has been tried for this murder. Her first two trials were ruled mistrials after the juries were unable to reach a unanimous verdict. She was then convicted in the most recent trial back in 2016, after the jury deliberated for four days. However, that ruling was overturned on appeal by the State’s Supreme Court, which ruled that one witness who testified about the process of paint drying was not a qualified expert.
Rintala found Cochrane-Rintala unresponsive at the bottom of the stairs of the couple’s Granby home on March 29, 2010. When first responders arrived, it was determined that Annamarie was dead. Cara, Annamarie’s body and the floor near the bottom of the stairs were all found to be covered in paint.
Opening statements of the fourth trial began on September 13th. Jury deliberations in this fourth trial began last Wednesday, however, they had to restart on Tuesday due to three dismissed jurors for personal reasons.
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