Mansfield News Journal

Mansfielder who confessed to 1988 murder may be released
Ohio Innocence Project, police agree he's not guilty

March 30, 2011

MANSFIELD -- An incarcerated Mansfield man who confessed to a 1988 murder he didn't commit may be freed from Pickaway Correctional Institution on Friday.

Glenn W. Tinney will be released from prison if the Richland County Prosecutors Office doesn’t file a motion Friday to retry him, Ohio Innocence Project attorney Karla Markley Hall said today.

On March 25, Richland County Common Pleas James DeWeese granted the defendant’s motion to withdraw his guilty plea, stating that the “prosecutor shall advise the court and counsel seven days after the date of this entry whether he intends to retry Mr. Tinney, and if so, what bond he contends is appropriate. Otherwise, the defendant shall be released from custody unless he is still serving sentences for other crimes.”

Tinney, 48, represented by counsel from the Ohio Innocence Project, filed a motion in common pleas court in late October 2009 to withdraw his guilty plea.

Tinney was convicted of beating 33-year-old Ted White of Lucas inside Akron Mattress and Waterbed. White, who owned the Park Avenue West store, died three days later of severe head injuries. In 1992, Tinney confessed to the murder during an interview with Richland County Prosecutor James J. Mayer.

"This is the only case of any of Ohio Innocence Project cases that I am aware of where the police have approached us instead of the incarcerated person (approaching us),” Hall said.

The Ohio Innocence Project receives 800 to 1,100 requests for assistance with cases each year.

In 2009, Mansfield police Lt. John Wendling, commander of the detective bureau, said he believes Tinney is innocent. “There's nothing in that investigation to lead me to think otherwise,” Wendling told the News Journal. “I stand firm on my suspicions on who the real killer is.”

Markley Hall said Tinney’s motion for the withdrawal of his guilty plea is because of the “overwhelming evidence indicating he is innocent of this crime.”

DeWeese in his judgment entry stated, “The defendant’s October 29, 2009 motion to withdraw his guilty plea is granted to correct manifest injustice because the discrepancies among the known facts of the crime and his five confessions suggest that perhaps he is not guilty. The court is not finding Mr. Tinney actually innocent but that the evidence doesn’t support his plea of guilty.”

Judge James Henson presided over the case from the time it was filed until he recused himself on motion of the prosecutor. The case was reassigned to DeWeese on Aug. 19.

Richland County First Assistant Prosecutor Brent Robinson could not immediately be reached for comment today.

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