Marybeth Tinning, the New York mom convicted of murdering her 4-month-old daughter in 1985 who is suspected in the deaths of seven of her other children, has been granted parole, PEOPLE confirms.
Incarcerated since 1987, Tinning, now 75, went before the New York State Parole Board six times before she was finally granted parole on July 10, New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision spokesperson Thomas Mailey said in a statement.
Tinning, who was sentenced to 20 years to life, could be released from the Taconic Correctional Facility in Bedford Hills as early as Aug. 21, according to the DOCCS statement.
According to Mailey, Tinning “will remain under community supervision for the rest of her life” with a parole officer. She will be required to abide by a curfew and participate in domestic violence counseling, according to the statement.
Tinning, who lived in Schenectady, has been eligible for parole since May 30, 2007. Her husband Joseph Tinning told The Daily Gazette that Marybeth told him about the approval late last week, saying, “She was very emotional telling me.”
According to the Times-Union of Albany, Tinning was once suspected of trying to poison Joseph but was never charged.
A Munchausen by Proxy Mom?
Tinning, whose case drew international attention, is believed to have exhibited Munchausen by Proxy, a rare form of abuse in which a guardian exaggerates or induces illness in a child for attention and sympathy.
Between 1972 and 1985 all nine of Tinning’s children died, which initially made her an object of sympathy.
Authorities believe her first child died of natural causes. But the other eight died under suspicious circumstances.
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She was indicted in three deaths but prosecutors only pursued a conviction in one: The 1985 death of Tami Lynne, which occurred when Tinning smothered her with a pillow.
In 1986, Tinning admitted to smothering Tami Lynne as well as two of her sons, CBS News reports. But at her first parole hearing in 2007, she denied killing Tami Lynne and other children of hers, according to The Daily Gazette.
Current Schenectady County District Attorney Robert Carney has opposed her release since she was first eligible for parole, believing she has never fully acknowledged her crime, The Daily Gazette reports. Still, he declined to second-guess the board’s decision, the outlet reports.
It was not immediately clear if Carney plans to prosecute Tinning for the other killings to which she admitted, and PEOPLE’s call to him was not immediately returned.
In 1972, Tinning’s 8-day-old baby died from what authorities said was acute meningitis, CBS News reports. Two of her other children — a 2-year-old and a 4-year-old — died shortly after because of seizures, she said at the time.
Authorities stopped investigating the death of the 4-year-old when his death was attributed to cardiac arrest, CBS News reports.
The other children’s deaths were attributed to acute pulmonary edema, sudden infant death syndrome, and bronchial pneumonia.