Days Before Release, Appeal Filed To Keep Self-Confessed Killer In Custody

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Prosecutors have taken action to keep a self-confessed killer behind bars, even though police and the victim's family say he is not responsible for the slaying that has kept him locked up for 19 years, 10TV's Andy Hirsch reported on Tuesday.

In March, a judge in Richland County cleared the way for Glenn Tinney to be released from prison.  He permitted Tinney to withdraw his guilty plea, saying that his "confessions do not provide any serious support for his conviction for murder."

But late last week, just a few days before Tinney was to be set free, prosecutors filed an appeal to keep him in custody.

Although prosecutors concede that no physical evidence has linked Tinney to the slaying of Ted White more than 22 years ago in a Mansfield furniture store, they say he gave details during a confession that were consistent with facts of the crime.  According to the appeal, Tinney did not know that investigators were going to speak with him about the case, and prosecutors say he did not have time to formulate a false confession, Hirsch reported.

White's widow, Jan Hale, is among those who do not believe that Tinney was responsible for the slaying.

"You know in your heart, in your mind, in everything that you have, that this is not the right person (who did) it," Hale said.  "That makes you want to fight to make what's wrong, right."

Police also do not believe that Tinney killed White.  Investigators suspect that Tinney suffers from mental illness, and in 2009 they contacted the Ohio Innocence Project in an effort to get him released from prison, Hirsch reported.

Mansfield police Lt. John Wendling has said previously that some of the information from Tinney about the slaying was not correct. 

"Mr. Tinney was unable to pick out a picture of the person he allegedly killed," Wendling said.  "He describes injuries that never happened."

The move by prosecutors to keep Tinney in prison left Hale upset.  She said the focus should be on finding the real killer.

"Disappointment, anger, frustration; I can't believe that they're still doing this," she said.  They have nothing to try him on.  They have no evidence."

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Previous Stories:

March 26, 2011: Man Believed To Have Falsely Confessed To Murder Could Be Released
December 4, 2009: Police Working To Free Man Who Confessed To Murder