Police Working To Free Man Who Confessed To Murder


UPDATED: Saturday March 26, 2011 8:10 AM

A court case that is defying convention was unfolding Friday, 10TV's Glenn McEntyre reported.

Investigators who usually put criminals behind bars were working to free a convicted man.

It has been 21 years since Jan Hale's husband was beaten to death inside the furniture store they owned together.

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 "It was devastating, something that you still feel today, 21 years after the fact," Hale said.

For four years, Ted White's murder went unsolved.

Then in 1992, Glenn Tinney confessed to the killing.

But his conviction brought White's family anything but peace.

 "It didn't make any sense. It was total lies," Hale said.

 "I don't believe and I never have believed, that Glenn Tinney is the person that murdered Ted White," said Mansfield Police Lt. John Wendling.  

Wendling said his department did not have anything to do with Tinney's prosecution; he confessed directly to the Richland County Prosecutor's Office.

No witnesses or evidence were ever presented in court, McEntyre reported.

Wendling said that is because other than Tinney's confession, there was no evidence.

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

Wendling said Tinney suffers from severe mental illness.

That, combined with evidence pointing to someone else, prompted police to contact the Ohio Innocence Project on Tinney's behalf, McEntyre reported.

"We feel that the ball was dropped. For me to sit here and say so and so did or so and so didn't, I'm not going to do that. But something happened here. Something's wrong."

The Innocence Project filed a motion to formally withdraw Tinney's guilty plea, something the Richland County Prosecutor is trying to block.

Hale said for the first time in long time, she's hopeful the facts of her husband's death will surface.

"I just really feel like it's been coming a long time and the truth will come out," Hale said.  
  
The Richland County Prosecutor's Office did not return calls seeking comment.

A judge still has to rule on Tinney's request to withdraw his guilty plea.

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