It was August 1988 that Ted White was beaten to death in the Mansfield furniture store he owned.
Four years later, Glenn Tinney confessed to White's murder.
But for the officers who investigated the killing, the case was far from closed.
“I don't believe, and I have never believed, that Glenn Tinney is the person that murdered Ted White,” said Lt. John Wendling, Mansfield Police Department.
Wendling said that's because there was no evidence of Tinney's guilt, other than his confession. Wendling says Tinney was unable to pick out a picture of the person he allegedly killed.
Even Ted White's widow is among Tinney's defenders:
“You know in your heart, in your mind, in everything you have, that this is not the person that done it, then that makes you want to fight to make what's wrong, right,” said Jan Hale.
On Friday, that fight brought Tinney and White's widow to the same Richland County courtroom, on the same side of an extraordinary legal case.
At the request of the Mansfield Police Department, The Ohio Innocence Project is working to get Tinney's guilty plea withdrawn.
Why would anyone confess to a murder they didn't commit?
A forensic psychologist testified that Tinney is severely mentally ill, suffering hallucinations that leave him craving punishment.
Along with suicide attempts, he said Tinney's masochistic behavior included eating glass.
"And he knew enough to know that he could jam himself up for life by certain statements that he gave to police,” said Dr. Scott Bressler, Forensic Psychologist.
Prosecutors insist Tinney is not only a liar and a manipulator, but also guilty of Ted White's murder.
“So the fact that… he's routinely reporting about the crime he committed with the man he beat over the head with a tire iron, is to be discounted because he was mentally ill?" asked Bambi Couch-Page, Richland County Prosecutor’s Office.
“He reports killing lots of people, ma’am. Setting his brother on fire. He reports lots of things that seem to be a bit over the top and fantastic and don't seem to have much truth to them and I guess that's the reason that we're here,” said Bressler.
The judge on Friday also heard from two former Mansfield Police investigators who testified about their conviction that Tinney is innocent.
Testimony is set to resume next week with White's widow taking the stand.
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