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Convicted child killer Marybeth Tinning released

Convicted child killer Marybeth Tinning released

She was released Tuesday morning
Convicted child killer Marybeth Tinning released
Marybeth Tinning is escorted by police during her trial (background): Tinning in 2018 (inset)
Photographer: Gazette file photo (background); State corrections (inset)

SCHENECTADY -- Convicted child killer Marybeth Tinning, who won parole in her seventh try last month, is now free, state prison officials confirmed.

Tinning, 75, walked out of the medium-security Taconic Correctional Facility in Bedford Hills, Westchester County, Tuesday morning after serving more than 31 years of her 20-years-to-life sentence for the 1985 smothering death of her 4-month-old daughter, Tami Lynne.

Her case gained national attention, as all nine of Tinning's children died young between 1972 and 1985, eight of them under suspicious circumstances. An adopted child's death was among the eight.

"Tinning is being supervised in Schenectady County," said state Department of Corrections and Community Supervision spokesman Thomas Mailey in a prepared statement. "For safety and security reasons, the department does not issue specific residential, reporting or employment information for individuals on community supervision."

Tinning went before the state Parole Board in July and was granted release. She'd been denied on six previous appearances before the board since 2007. A transcript of her appearance before the board has yet to be released.

She will remain under parole supervision for the rest of her life.

She was indicted in three deaths, but prosecutors pursued only the Tami Lynne case. Tinning has denied killing her other children.

Standing by her throughout her trial and long incarceration was her husband, Joseph Tinning. He continued to visit her regularly throughout her three decades in prison. He visited her in Westchester County at least once every other month.

Contacted Monday night at his home in Duanesburg, Joseph Tinning indicated he had yet to hear confirmation that she had been released. He was expecting a phone call Tuesday morning from prison officials in Bedford Hills and was hoping to hear that she would be set free.

"I've known for a couple of weeks that Aug. 21 might be the day," he said, adding that he planned to drive down to pick her up at the prison.

Joseph Tinning could not be reached for comment after his wife's release Tuesday, which comes nearly 10 years after she first admitted to the parole board that she killed Tami Lynne.

At her first appearance in 2007, she continued to deny involvement, as she did at her 1987 sentencing.

"The Lord above and I know that I am innocent," she told the court at her 1987 sentencing, "but one day, the whole world will know that I am innocent, and maybe then I can have my life back once again, or whatever is left of it."

Also see: Tinning Sentence Is 20 Years to Life For Killing Baby, Oct. 2, 1987

At 2013's Parole Board appearance, she expressed less certainty about her innocence, saying, “It’s just — I can’t remember. I mean, I know I did it, but I can’t tell you why. There is no reason.”

As for what she'll do now that she's been released, that was unclear as of Tuesday. Prior appearances before the Parole Board, however, provide some indication of what she would like to do. 

At the 2013 appearance, her fifth before the board, she read a letter asking the board to "please allow me a chance to prove that I am not the same person that I was 27 years ago."

"I ask you to see me as I am today, not as I was then, and to show you that I am a changed and loving person, that I am confronted with the result of my actions every day," she wrote. "I will carry the pain and regret for the rest of my life. I would be an asset, not a problem, to society."

She said she would prove herself through "working in the church and the community where my help is needed, such as volunteering at a food bank and homeless shelters."

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