- Associated Press - Friday, February 5, 2016

CLEVELAND (AP) - A county and three officials were cleared of any wrongdoing in the case of an Ohio man freed after serving two decades in prison for a murder his attorneys say he didn’t commit.

A federal judge in Cleveland made the ruling on Tuesday, nearly two years after Glenn Tinney filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against Richland County and its prosecutors, the Mansfield News Journal (https://ohne.ws/1PXZxeo ) reported.

“Since this case began, we believed that Mr. Tinney voluntarily confessed and, with the assistance of counsel, voluntarily pled guilty,” Andrew Yosowitz, the defendants’ attorney, said in an email. “We are pleased that, after a thorough review of the case, justice prevailed.”

Tinney’s attorneys contended that they exploited his well-documented mental illness, railroading him into a false confession and withholding evidence of his innocence.

Tinney pleaded guilty to the 1988 killing of 33-year-old Ted White, who was beaten to death with a blunt object in Mansfield. He was serving prison time for an unrelated burglary when he confessed. In 2009, he filed a motion to withdraw his plea, claiming that mental illness played a part in it.

A judge ordered his release from prison in March 2011, saying his confession didn’t constitute a murder conviction.

Tinney contended that investigators used “conscience-shocking interview techniques” and conspired to coerce his confessions, but the judge disagreed.

“Obviously, we’re disappointed,” said Gretchen Helfrich, Tinney’s attorney. “We feel the judge misunderstood our arguments.”

Helfrich said they will appeal Tuesday’s decision.

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Information from: News Journal, https://www.mansfieldnewsjournal.com

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