Kirkersville shooting victim wrote letter supporting Hartless months before death

LICKING COUNTY, OH (WCMH)  — NBC4 is looking deeper into Thomas Hartless’ court records prior to him shooting and killing his girlfriend, her coworker and the Kirkersville police chief.

We now know that Marlina Medrano wrote a letter to the judge asking to give Hartless a lighter sentence for beating her multiple times prior to her death.

Medrano handed the judge a handwritten letter appearing to blame herself for the beatings.

What makes this even more tragic is the fact that she said she loves and supports him.

Less than three months later, he killed her.

Investigators tell NBC4 Hartless had a long history of violent behavior dating back to the early 90’s.

Court records also show that Hartless beat Medrano often, even headbutting her, and trying to run her over with his car.  Despite it all, Medrano wrote judge Michael Higgins a letter in support of Hartless and asked the judge to be lenient while sentencing him.

“I never intended tom to be jailed for his actions, rather it was a cry for help,” Medrano stated in the letter.

“I am not trying to validate why he acted the way he did. I simply want it to be known that there are more variables involved in the equation,” Medrano stated in the letter.

Medrano said in part that Thomas had a severe mental disorder, and she’s struggling with behavioral issues that involved her biological changes.

Medrano told the judge she was confident that with therapy, medication and lifestyle changes, she and Hartless would overcome the struggles between them.

“This is why I continue to love and support him,” Medrano stated in her letter. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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