Police have arrested an Ohio convict they allege killed his prison pen pal and her boyfriend only a month after he was released from prison.
Parma Heights police arrested Thomas Knuff, 42, and charged him with two counts of aggravated murder after the bodies of John Mann, 65, and Regina Capobianco, 50, were discovered in Mann’s home on June 21.
The suspect had been released from prison only on April 1 after having served a 15-year prison sentence for several armed robberies and home invasions. In one case, for instance, an armed Knuff robbed a man at an ATM, and in another he used a box cutter to rob a convenience store clerk.
Knuff had been released under supervision by the Ohio Adult Parole Authority, according to Cleveland.com.
The newly-released criminal had become acquainted with Capobianco through a prison pen pal program nearly 10 years ago, reports say. Capobianco and her boyfriend responded to Knuff’s request to pick him up from Lorain Correctional Institution after he was released from jail, authorities say.
“When they picked him up from prison, it was the first time they met,” Parma Heights Police Captain Steve Scharschmidt said.
But after only a short time with the couple, Knuff allegedly forced them into a bedroom in Mann’s home, tied them up, and stabbed them to death.
“He put them in a bedroom together, and was still there for approximately a week, living there,” Capt. Scharschmidt said.
Police didn’t discover the badly decomposed bodies for over a month after the murders and after Capobianco’s sister had reported the woman missing.
“For many of them this is one of the toughest crime scenes our detectives have had to deal with,” said Parma Heights Police Chief Daniel Teel. “Not only because of the crime, but because of the time and the conditions that the victims were found in.”
Knuff was initially cooperative with police but soon invoked his right to an attorney. He has offered no motive for the killings.
The convict pleaded not guilty at his arraignment and was handed bond set at $25 million for each murder charge.
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