Convicted killer of California woman Jackie Cassettari set to go free after just 10 years in prison

Jackie Cassettari was brutally beaten and strangled to death, suffering several skull fractures, brain hemorrhaging, a broken larynx and numerous bruises and cuts.

When the 36-year-old Northern California woman's body was found, there was a rope around her neck, a deep gash on her right wrist and evidence that she may have been sexually assaulted, authorities say.

Now, 14 years after the horrific 2005 crime, her killer is scheduled to be released from prison – and Jackie’s family is furious.

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“We wanted him to be in there for life,” Jackie’s cousin, Steffanie Cruser, told FOX 40 of Sacramento. “We wanted him to suffer and then just never be able to see the light of day again.”

“We wanted him to be in there for life. We wanted him to suffer and then just never be able to see the light of day again.”

— Steffanie Cruser, cousin of Jackie Cassettari
Brian Rainwater, convicted in 2009 in the death of Jackie Cassettari, is set to be freed in November. (California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation)

Brian Rainwater, convicted in 2009 in the death of Jackie Cassettari, is set to be freed in November. (California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation)

But Brian Rainwater, who was convicted in 2009 of killing Jackie, is scheduled to go free in November – after serving just 10 years of a 15-year sentence.

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation told FOX 40 that Rainwater will be released early because of time served and because he took some college courses while behind bars. In addition, some charges beyond his manslaughter conviction have been reduced to misdemeanors, the station reported.

What’s worse, according to Jackie’s family: Rainwater will likely be living in Tracy, the same Northern California city that Jackie’s family members call home.

The family hopes authorities will force Rainwater to live somewhere else, Cruser said.

“Far away, far away,” she told FOX 40. “Because no one wants to run into him at a grocery store or a gas station.”

Retired detective Dale Jaynes said he’ll never forget the crime scene after Jackie’s death in her Livermore apartment.

“The amount of blood that was in that kitchen, you had to watch where you walked, not only because the evidence but just … slipping,” Jaynes told FOX 40. “It was one of the most gruesome scenes I’ve been in. You wonder who could … who could do something like this to another person.”

“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 one of the most gruesome scenes I’ve been in. You wonder who could … who could do something like this to another person.”

— Dale Jaynes, retired detective who worked on Cassettari case

Both Jaynes and Cruser said they were shocked when Rainwater received just a 15-year sentence.

“I was very upset to be honest with you,” Jaynes told FOX40. “With the injuries she received, it was unbelievable he was only going to get the sentence he got.”

During Rainwater's trial, a pathologist testified that Cassettari had a possibly lethal amount of methamphetamine in her body, the East Bay Times reported.

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But at least one person has remained convinced that Rainwater is innocent: his wife, Desiree Rainwater.

She claims her husband was convicted because his past – which included infidelity and a conviction for indecent exposure – fit a police narrative, according to the station.

“To bludgeon somebody to death?” she said. “No, that’s not my husband.”