COLUMBUS --A Portage County murder case has prompted the Ohio Supreme Court to adopt new rules that will enable inmates sentenced to death to appeal rejections of applications for additional DNA testing of evidence directly to the high court.
Justices ruled in December that Tyrone Noling would be allowed to appeal a trial court's earlier denial of further testing of evidence from the scene of the murder of an elderly couple more than 25 years ago.
The rules change, which will take effect on June 1, outlines the process for inmates sentenced to death to appeal to the Ohio Supreme Court when common pleas courts reject applications for additional DNA testing.
Noling was convicted for the April 1990 murder of the Bernhardt and Cora Hartig, who were found shot to death in the kitchen of their home in Atwater Township. He was twice indicted for the crime and convicted about five years later, based on testimony of several young men who were involved with him in a string of robberies in Alliance, according to documents.
Noling has maintained his innocence throughout the proceedings, arguing that there is evidence of other perpetrators.
DNA evidence from the scene did not match Noling or the other men involved in the case and did not identify any alternative suspects, according to documents. State investigators also determined that shell casings and ring boxes from the crime scene have been contaminated and are not suitable for DNA testing, according to documents.
Kovac covers the Ohio Statehouse for Gatehouse Media. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at OhioCapitalBlog.