Convicted child killer Marybeth Tinning was denied parole again this week by a state parole board shocked that she explained her crime by saying she was “going through bad times.”
Tinning, now 66, was sentenced in 1987 to 20 years to life in prison for the Dec. 20, 1985, smothering death of her 4-month-old daughter, Tami Lynne. She was also suspected, but never tried or convicted, in the deaths of seven of her eight other children over a 14-year period. The family lived in Schenectady at the time.
The parole board’s decision means that Tinning will spend at least two more years in prison. She is next eligible for parole in March 2011.
In coming to its decision, the parole board noted letters of support, programs she has participated in in prison and her clean prison disciplinary record.
The board, however, focused on Tinning’s “lack of insight” on the cause of her crime and Tinning relating it to “going through bad times.”
“Your expression of remorse displays as superficial at best,” the board wrote, noting conflicting statements she’s made regarding the deaths of three of her nine children. “Your merciless actions in murdering a 4-month-old helpless infant clearly indicates the danger you pose to society. Parole is denied.”
The decision marks the second time a parole board has denied her release.
She was first eligible for parole in 2007. The board denied her then as well, saying that she had little remorse and continued to deny responsibility.
Tinning remains housed at the state’s Bedford Hills Correctional Facility in Westchester County. Tinning’s husband, Joseph, has stood by her since her initial arrest. He has traveled to the correctional facility twice a month for as long as she has been incarcerated there.
Schenectady County District Attorney Robert Carney, whose office prosecuted Tinning, has argued that Tinning should remain in prison.
“After being denied parole before, you’d think, if she had really been rehabilitated, she would have projected herself differently,” Carney said after hearing what the board wrote.
“That’s not somebody who is ‘going through bad times,’ ” he added later, “that’s a bad person.”