Woman who killed baby to stay behind bars

Relates to:
Date: 2009-03-04
Source: Times Union

By CAROL DeMARE, Staff writer
First published in print: Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Marybeth Tinning, convicted of smothering her 4-month-old daughter and long suspected of killing seven of her other children at her Schenectady home, has been behind bars for more than 21 years, and that's where she should remain, a parole board has decided again.

Parole officials found Tinning continues to pose a danger to society.

Tinning, 66, serving 20 years to life for the 1985 killing of Tami Lynne, was denied parole in late January for the second time since her incarceration.

"I was going through bad times," when she killed her infant, she told the parole board at the recent hearing.

Her first appearance before the board at Bedford Hills Correctional Facility in Westchester County was March 28, 2007, at which time board members admonished her for refusing to take responsibility for the baby's death and for showing no remorse.

On Jan. 28, she appeared again, and the three-member panel wrote in its decision that "if released at this time, there is a reasonable probability that you would not live and remain at liberty without again violating the law and your release would be incompatible with the welfare of society and would so deprecate the serious nature of the crime as to undermine respect for the law."

The board acknowledged she has a "clean disciplinary record" and has been through "extensive programming," and that letters of support have been written on her behalf. But the board also said it is ''shocked at your lack of insight regarding the cause of your crime which you relegated to 'I was going through bad times' and has serious concerns regarding future violations of the law."

"Your expression of remorse ... (is) superficial at best," the board continued. "At various stages since the offense you have offered false and differing explanations including an oral and written confession and retraction regarding the deaths of three of your nine children, all of whom died before the age of five," the board wrote. "Your merciless actions in murdering a 4-month-old helpless infant clearly indicates the danger you pose to society."

Once prisoners have served their minimum time, they typically come up for parole, and if denied, they meet with the parole board every two years after that. Tinning will be eligible again in January 2011.

Tinning had eight children and adopted a boy between 1967 and 1985, and none lived to be older than 4. Authorities believe the first child died of natural causes, but suspect Tinning probably killed the other eight.

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