October 24, 2014

Medina
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Brunswick man charged with killing his mother could face death penalty

James Tench

James Tench

A 28-year-old Brunswick man could face the death penalty on charges he killed his mother last November.

A Medina County grand jury has indicted James Tench on charges of aggravated murder, murder, aggravated robbery, kidnapping and evidence tampering.

According to the Aug. 14 secret indictment, he’s accused of killing his mother, Mary Tench, on Nov. 12 with “prior calculation and design” while trying to rob and restrain her.

If convicted, he faces potential penalties of death or life in prison without parole or with no parole for 25 or 30 years. Other charges may extend those possible sentences.

The case is being heard by Common Pleas Judge James L. Kimbler.

County Prosecutor Dean Holman said the case took nine months to go before a grand jury because Tench already was in prison for an armed robbery in Strongsville.

“We could take more time on this case because there was no danger to the public,” Holman said. “The community was safe, so there’s no reason to rush because of those facts. We took a thorough and deliberate approach to the case.”

Tench was sentenced to six years in prison in March on four counts of kidnapping and two counts of aggravated robbery for his role in an Oct. 28 robbery at Old Carolina Barbecue on Pearl Road in Strongsville.

He’s scheduled for release from the Richland Correctional Institution on Nov. 14, 2019, according to the Ohio Department of Corrections.

Holman declined to discuss details of the case.

Holman said he couldn’t say how Tench restrained his mother. He also could not specify what evidence Tench is accused of tampering with.

“More information will come out as the court hearings progress,” he said.

Brunswick police also were mum on details, referring all questions to Holman.

Tench’s mother, 55, was found dead Nov. 12 in her vehicle in a parking lot off Carquest Drive in Brunswick — less than a mile south of the Camden Lane home she and her son shared.

After her body was discovered, police roped off the home as a crime scene.

County Coroner Dr. Neil Grabenstetter has said Mary Tench sustained skull fractures and blunt trauma to her head and neck. He ruled her death a homicide.

Brunswick police detained James Tench for questioning and two days later turned him over to Strongsville police in connection with the robbery. He’s been in custody ever since.

Contact reporter Nick Glunt at (330) 721-4048 or nglunt@medina-gazette.com. Follow him on Twitter @ngfalcon.