James Bernard Tenny killed his common law wife, Joyce Mulvey, on May 12, 1997. While it was undisputed that Tenny had stuck the fatal blows, he claimed that it was in self defense.
Both Tenny and Mulvey were employed at Christ of the Hills Monastery in Blanco, Texas. Tenny had been met Fr. Benedict Greene in the late 1970s. In a statement given in 1997, Green said that Tenny “was Baptized into the Orthdodox Church on April 10, 1988. At the time, Greene was not a priest in a canonical jurisdiction.
Greene and Fr. Jeremiah Hitt were to be called as defense witness in Tenny’s murder trial. However, before the case reached that point, Greene and Hitt were indicted for indecency with a child.
Tenny’s attorney elected not to call the two Blanco monks as witnesses, and Tenny was convicted in May, 1999, and sentenced to 65 years in prison.
Tenny appealed his case to the federal courts, and his plea of ineffective counsel prevailed there. The judge ordered that Tenny was to be retried or released.
Tenny was retried in 2006. He was found guilty of aggravated assault for the crime and sentenced to 5 years in prison. Since Tenny had served 6 years before original sentence was overturned, he was freed.