Woman Marries Man Convicted of Killing Her Brother

An Ohio woman married a man convicted of killing her half-brother in the 1980s while the man is on house arrest awaiting a retrial.

John Tiedjan was convicted of murdering Brian McGary in 1987, although he maintains his innocence. He was released on July 22 after he was granted a new trial following the discovery of new images and missing police reports tied to his case.

Crystal Straus, Brian's half-sister, wrote Tiedjan a letter while he was in jail, forgiving him of killing Brian. That's when a courtship formed.

"And I wrote her a letter back and said I didn't do it, take a look at this stuff," Tiedjan told a news outlet. "I believe in God too, and I know things about it, but I didn't do it."

"We'll get through this. It's going to be a challenge, no doubt about it," Straus says.

McGary was found dead in the apartment he shared with Tiedjan with a stab wound and a fatal gunshot to the head, according to reports. Tiedjan was interrogated intensely, and eventually signed a statement saying he shot McGary in self-defense.

Tiedjan's attorneys say they have evidence that seems to point to McGary having committed suicide, while the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor's Office say they have evidence that Tiedjan asked a friend to get rid of the gun used in McGary's death.

Tiedjan asked Straus to marry him over the phone in January 2020, not knowing if he would ever be released from prison. The two exchanged vows where Tiedjan is currently on house arrest awaiting his new trial.

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