Rintala: EMT Seeks To Appeal Murder Conviction 11 Years After Wife's Death

The case of whether Cara Rintala killed her wife that twice ended in a hung jury, may get another airing.

Undated photo of Cara Rintala (left) and Annamarie Cochrane Rintala
Undated photo of Cara Rintala (left) and Annamarie Cochrane Rintala Photo Credit: Media File

Rintala, 53, is seeking to appeal her 2016 murder conviction over the 2010 death of her wife Annamarie Cochrane Rintala.

Her lawyer sought to have Rintala released from prison while she waits for an appeal hearing, but on Tuesday, Jan. 26, a Hampshire Superior Court judge denied the release request, the Northwestern District Attorney's Office said.

Rintala is seeking to appeal on the belief that the state should not have been able to call an expert paint witness to explain the scene of the crime, which, along with Cochrane Rintala, was doused in interior paint.

Cochrane Rintala’s murder gripped the Pioneer Valley - as well as the national and international press - for years as the mystery of how the Springfield EMT died took numerous twists and turns.

Cochrane Rintala was discovered strangled and dead in her basement with paint poured around the scene and her body on March 29, 2010. Cochrane Rintala lived at the Granby home with Rintala, who was an EMT in Ludlow, and their then 4-year-old daughter.

During court proceedings, the Northwest District Attorney's Office prosecutors put together the chain of events around Cochrane Rintala’s death.


Cochrane and Rintala were married in 2007. In 2008, Cochrane Rintala filed a restraining order against her wife claiming physical abuse. Police were called to their home a year later on a suspected domestic violence situation. At one point Cochrane Rintala filed for divorce and moved out of the couple’s home in 2009, but they reconciled.

On the March day when Cochrane Rintala died, police were alerted to the situation when Rintala approached a neighbor with her daughter and dog and asked them to call 911. When police arrived, Rintala was holding the deceased Cochrane Rintala and crying in the basement.

Rintala told police she had been driving her daughter around for the last four hours to allow her wife to get some rest following a long overnight shift.

During that trip, Rintala was caught on surveillance cameras. A McDonald’s security video caught Rintala putting something into a trash can about 2 hours before 911 was called. Later a rag with bloodstains similar to Rintala’s was discovered there.

Stop and Shop security footage caught Rintala driving her truck with a laundry basket and a red bag in the truck bed. Those items were not in the truck when Rintala returned home.

Prosecutors said Rintala had hacked at her door with a shovel to make it look like someone had forced their way into the Granby home.

After two hung juries, Rintala was found guilty of murdering her wife on Oct. 7, 2016. She was sentenced to life in prison.

to follow Daily Voice Worcester and receive free news updates.