Tracy, CA – The family of a woman who was brutally raped and murdered in 2005 was notified by letter that her killer will be released from prison early due to good behavior.
Brian Rainwater will be released back into the community where the family of his victim, 36-year-old Jackie Cassettari, still resides, KXTV reported.
"She was strangled, she was beaten so badly she had cuts all over her body, her wrists were slit and she was sexually assaulted," Cassettari’s cousin, Steffanie Cruser, told the news outlet. “I don't think that our family should have to suffer that. We've already suffered enough. Why should we have to suffer by seeing him daily?"
Cassettari’s body was discovered in her Livermore apartment by one of her family members on the evening of April 15, 2005, the East Bay Times reported.
A cord was wrapped around her face, chin, and left arm, and a plastic zip tie was cinched on her right wrist near a deep incision, according to court records.
Investigators determined she had been bludgeoned and strangled to death, KTXL reported.
Her killer also stole her credit card, cell phone, and the keys to her car and apartment, police said.
“The amount of blood that was in that kitchen, you had to watch where you walked, not only because the evidence but just…slipping. It was that bad,” retired Livermore Police Detective Dale Jaynes told KTXL. “It was one of the most gruesome scenes I’ve been in."
After murdering Cassettari, the killer used her phone to place nine calls to a dating service that allowed callers to engage in “sexual conversations” with other users, the East Bay Times reported.
Evidence in the case ultimately led investigators to Rainwater, who had been one of Cassettari’s coworkers.
The victim’s credit cards, driver’s license, and underwear were recovered during a search of his garage.
At the time of the murder, Rainwater was already serving three years on probation for a misdemeanor indecent exposure conviction, the East Bay Times reported.
In 2009, Rainwater pleaded no contest in connection with Cassettari’s murder, and was sentenced to 15 years in prison, KXTV reported.
“We wanted him to be in there for life," Cruser told KTXL. "We wanted him to suffer and then just never be able to see the light of day again.”
Det. Jaynes said he was stunned by the light sentence.
“I was very upset, to be honest with you,” the retired detective told KTXL. “With the injuries that she received, it was unbelievable that he was only going to get the sentence that he got.”
The family’s feelings of injustice were further compounded last week, when a letter showed up in the mail notifying them that Rainwater would walk out of prison five years earlier than expected, KXTV reported.
On top of that, he will be released to the same community where Cassettari’s family still resides.
According to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Rainwater was granted an early release for good behavior, as well as for taking college classes while in prison, KXTV reported.
"It doesn't make sense, while I would have to go into debt to get an education that he just got for free,” Cruser noted. “But I didn't murder anybody, but he did. And I didn't rape someone, but he did. So, it's just failed, the justice system has definitely failed.”
Cassettari’s family is now trying to convince the Department of Corrections to release Rainwater to somewhere other than their hometown, KXTV reported.
"We can't afford to pack up and move away because he's being released and we didn't do anything wrong," Cruser argued. "He should have to go somewhere else. He's the one that committed the murder. He's the one that spent time in prison. He should be the one that has to relocate."
Rainwater is due to walk out of prison on Nov. 7.
His wife, Desiree Rainwater, has continued to proclaim his innocence, and said his conviction was nothing more than “confirmation bias,” KTXL reported.
“They were looking for him to be the guy and anything else they weren’t interested in hearing,” Desiree declared. “He’s not a violent person and he was an amazing, loving, tender, gentle father.”