GREENFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – A woman convicted and sentenced to life in prison for killing her wife in Granby back in 2010 has been denied a request to be released Tuesday, according to the Northwestern District Attorney’s office.
A DA’s spokeswoman told 22News a judge denied the request by now 53-year-old Cara Rintala to be released from prison pending her appeal from the 2016 conviction for first-degree murder in connection with the strangling death of her wife.
She was found guilty on October 7, 2016, for strangling her wife, Annamarie Rintala, in the basement of their Granby home. She was convicted after the case was tried three times; the two previous trials resulted in hung juries.
Rintala is appealing the verdict on the basis that the state should have not been allowed to introduce expert testimony regarding ceiling paint that was poured at the crime scene. During the trial, prosecutors argued that Rintala poured the paint shortly before police arrived at the home, in an effort to conceal the crime and contaminate the scene.
The convicted murderer also cited the risk of contracting COVID-19 at the prison in her request to be released.
In his decision to reject Rintala’s request Tuesday, Superior Court Judge Richard Carey said her argument is “wanting and without weight.” Judge Carey added that prisoners in the Commonwealth are now being vaccinated against the virus and “the specific risk to this defendant, in view of her age and medical conditions, is minimal.”
This is not the first time Rintala has been denied by the court with the case, in December 2019, a superior court judge denied Rintala’s motion for a new trial in a written decision.
Rintala’s argument in that motion was that her defense attorney, David Hoose of Northampton, failed to provide proper defense during the trial because he did not call an expert witness to testify on the reliability of a paint analysis performed by a state expert witness.
The SJC is expected to hear Rintala’s appeal in early April.