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Death sentence sought in Tallmadge killings of mother, son

Beacon Journal staff report

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The boyfriend of a Tallmadge woman whose body was found alongside her 5-year-old son is facing a potential death sentence in the slayings.

A Summit County grand jury on Tuesday handed up its indictment against Daniel Tighe, 39. He is accused of killing his longtime girlfriend, Wendy Ralston, and their son, Peyton, in July.

Tighe is charged with aggravated murder, murder, and two counts each of tampering with evidence, gross abuse of a corpse and domestic violence. The indictment contains specifications for a potential death sentence if he is convicted.

Tighe remains in the Summit County Jail under a $1 million bond. He is set to be arraigned Wednesday in Common Pleas Court before Magistrate Kandi O’Connor.

His attorneys, Joseph Gorman and Brian Pierce, said they are in the first stages of reviewing the evidence.

“Our hearts go out to the Ralston family, but we would hope everyone would afford Mr. Tighe the presumption of innocence,” said Pierce. “We’re still very early in the process of reviewing the case and evaluating the evidence.”

Tighe was arrested last week following an investigation by Tallmadge police detectives that began in early August when the bodies of Ralston, 31, and her son were found wrapped in bedding behind their home.

Police believe the mother and son were killed around July 23. They say Tighe, who had lived with Ralston for several months prior to her death, gave conflicting information on her whereabouts and delayed in reporting her missing.

Ralston’s mother, Marie Ralston, found the remains while searching the property for her missing daughter on Aug. 10. A cause of death has yet to be determined.

Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh noted that the indictment comes during Domestic Violence Awareness Month. She said nearly one-third of women murdered are killed by a partner.

“October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and unfortunately, this case illustrates how a violent domestic relationship can easily turn deadly and how children, who often witness the abuse, are not immune to the same violence,” Walsh said.


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