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Ohio Trial Court Tosses Conviction in False Confession Case

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Posted: January 25, 2013   4:35 PM

After a Judge ruled Wednesday that Glenn Tinney could withdraw his plea from a 1988 murder case in which he falsely confessed, prosecutors will have two weeks to decide if they will retry him.
The case was first referred to the Ohio Innocence Project by local police officers who believe in Tinney’s innocence and have long suspected another man of the murder. The victim, Ted White, died two days after being violently beaten with a blunt object.
Ohio Innocence Project attorneys filed a motion to withdraw Tinney’s guilty plea in October 2009, based largely on the fact that his various confessions did not match the undisputed facts of the crime. Richland County Common Pleas Judge James DeWeese granted that motion in 2011 but it was appealed. The appeals court ordered DeWeese to conduct an evidentiary hearing and after conducting the hearing, DeWeese reaffirmed his decision writing:

“Mr. Tinney confessed to killing a man he could not identify, for conflicting motives which don’t match the facts, at the wrong time of day, with a weapon that does not match the victim’s injuries, by striking him in the wrong part of his head, and stealing items the victim either still possessed after the attack or probably never possessed.”

The prosecutor acknowledged the struggle his office would face if it decided to try Tinney for a crime that occurred 24 years ago but has yet to make a decision. Tinney is scheduled for a parole hearing this month. An appeal could delay his release.
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