Facing Death, Tyrone Noling Pushes Ohio Supreme Court for More Access to DNA

Jun 18, 2017

The Ohio Supreme Court will hear a new round of arguments Tuesday in a Northeast Ohio death-penalty case that has stretched on for more than a quarter century. 

Tyrone Noling has always maintained he didn’t kill an elderly Portage County couple in 1990. No fingerprints or physical evidence links him to the crime, and his co-defendants in separate robbery cases long-ago recanted, saying police coerced them into implicating Noling.

The latest appeal is focused on DNA testing. Noling wants the state high court to order that he gets access to the full results of the DNA testing of a cigarette butt and other evidence that the state has done – not just the summary. Noling also wants shell casings found at the scene to be compared to a federal database. And he wants the evidence to be retested using the latest DNA technology, saying all that would be in keeping with state law and court practice.

But in their written arguments, Portage County prosecutors say Noling already got what he’s entitled to under state law and that he has no further right to ‘scrutinize, review, or analyze’ the data. They also say there’s no DNA evidence left for more testing.

Noling is now 45. The victims, Cora and Bernhardt Hartig, were 81.