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Jurors ready to deliberate Bennie Adams’ penalty

Published: Tue, October 28, 2008 @ 8:58 a.m.


Bennie Adams

YOUNGSTOWN — Jurors once again wheeled their overnight bags into the Mahoning County Courthouse in the Bennie Adams murder trial as they arrived this morning for the penalty determination phase.

The same jurors convicted Adams, 51, of the 1985 aggravated murder of Gina Tenney with a death penalty specification on Wednesday after they were sequestered overnight in a hotel.

Today, the eight-woman, four-man jury and the four alternates returned to hear testimony from six witnesses called by the defense to make its case that Adams’ life should be spared.

When they deliberate on the penalty, the jurors will again have to be sequestered if there is an overnight break in their deliberations.

Jurors can recommend 25 years to life in prison, 30 to life, life without parole, or death.

If they find that aggravating factors outweigh mitigating factors by proof beyond a reasonable doubt, they are to recommend death. Otherwise, they are to recommend a life sentence option.

The jury convicted Adams in the strangulation death of Tenney, a 19-year-old Youngstown State University student, who was his upstairs neighbor in an Ohio Avenue duplex.

Tenney’s frozen body was found floating in the Mahoning River near West Avenue on Dec. 30, 1985 — the day after her death.

Adams was indicted in the cold case last year after a DNA match was found in evidence police had preserved for 22 years.


1alumni(10 comments)posted 7 years, 1 month ago

Just like Michael Davis was a pure animal he murdered six people and should have been put to death also. He wasn't why? I think the answer is clear.

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2clesinski(2 comments)posted 6 years, 10 months ago

I recall an incident of when I lived on Ohio avenue during this time period. A man who I believe to be Bennie attempted to break into my home. We had a friend sleeping on the couch who screatched alarming me and I went into the kitchen. HE was in the window. This could have been the end of my life! Wow! How a chain of events can affect our lives. The student sleeping on our couch saved my life.

I just happened upon this page looking for Marvin Robinson who was a close friend of Gina.

I am filled with tears right now for her family. IT was a horific event in their lives. I pray that they can experience some peace now. After this murder we lived very differently on Ohio Ave. But we were able to move on, were her family well, that would be difficult. I pray for them.

Cyndi Lesinski

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