Judge overturns man’s death sentence

In a seven-page opinion, Bearden wrote that Tiner’s due process rights were violated when his defense lawyers failed to call two witnesses at sentencing who were available to “portray a more human and less dangerous side” of the convicted killer.

Tiner, now 53, was convicted of killing Salmu in March of 1993, then burying his body in the woods 52 miles east of Springfield. Salmu, who died at 34, was missing for more than a year and a half before a mushroom hunter found his skele*tal remains. He had been beaten, stabbed and shot, according to evidence in the case.