Accused Killer Who Confessed Says He's Sorry

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One of the two men accused in the slaying of two teenagers said Thursday that he could not live with the lie anymore.

Chester McKnight and Kenneth Linscott were arrested on Tuesday charged with aggravated murder in connection with the 1982 slayings of Todd Schultz and his fiancee, Annette Cooper, 10TV's Maureen Kocot reported.

The high school sweethearts were found shot to death and dismembered in a Hocking County cornfield on Oct. 4, 1982.

SLIDESHOW:  Images From Case

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

McKnight told Kocot that he could hide from the law but not from himself.

"You live with something for 26 years, it's like a cancer that grows inside you," McKnight said.  "Go out there and do something hideous like I did and go out and live with that for 26 years and see how you feel."

McKnight was 24 years old when Cooper and Schultz' mutilated bodies were found in the secluded cornfield.

Hocking County sheriff's investigators arrested Cooper's stepfather, Dale Johnston, in the slayings.  He was convicted and spent seven years on Death Row before new evidence proved that he was innocent. Johnston was released in 1990.

"Better (Johnston) than me," McKnight said when he thought about the arrest.

McKnight said that he confessed to the slayings and even led investigators to the exact spot where the young couple died.

"I can look at myself in the mirror and say, 'You did the right thing,'" McKnight said.

His decision to clear his conscience came too late for Johnston, who was finally freed by an appeals court.

"I'm sorry to put him through all the hell he went through," McKnight said. 

He said that he is also sorry for the victims' families and said he is ready to face the consequences of his actions.

"I'm not fighting the death penalty.  I want the death penalty because I took two lives.  I took two lives for nothing," McKnight said.

McKnight said that he did not act alone.  Lincott, who declined to be interviewed, faces a judge on Friday morning.

If convicted, both men could face the death penalty.

Stay with 10TV News and 10TV.com for continuing coverage.

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September 3, 2008:  New Evidence Links Men To 1982 Slayings
September 2, 2008:  Arrests Made In 26-Year-Old Slayings