Arrests Made In 26-Year-Old Slayings


UPDATED: Wednesday September 3, 2008 12:59 PM
A man who spent more than seven years on death row before new evidence proved him innocent is expressing relief that two suspects have been arrested in the 26-year-old crime.

Dale Johnston was convicted of killing and dismembering Todd Schultz, 19, and his fiancee, Annette Cooper, 18, in 1982. The bodies of the high-school sweethearts were discovered in a cornfield in Hocking County, 10TV News reported.

Johnston, who was Cooper's step-father, was released from prison in 1990.

SLIDESHOW: Images From Case

For 26 years, the real killers of the high school sweethearts remained at large. The trail of evidence turned cold. Then two years ago, a pair of investigators for the Hocking County Prosecutor's Office and a sheriff's detective started working with new information that ultimately led them to Kenneth Linscott and Chester McKnight.

Linscott and McKnight were arrested Tuesday and were being held in the Southeastern Ohio Regional Jail in Nelsonville.

Johnston tried unsuccessfully in 1993 to sue the State of Ohio for wrongful imprisonment. The Court of Claims ruled there was not enough evidence to prove conclusively Johnston innocence.

Now 75, Johnston lives in Grove City and is recovering from open heart surgery. He hopes the two new arrests will allow him to receive compensation for the years he spent on death row.

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