OTTAWA — Kenneth Richey sat in the courtroom Monday shaking his head as Judge Randall Basinger blasted him for a threatening message.Richey was sentenced to three years in prison for retaliation over a New Year's Eve message he left on a voice mail at the Putnam County Clerk of Court's Office telling Basinger he was coming to get him.Basinger took it seriously and said it was one of nine death threats Richey has made against him since he prosecuted Richey in 1986.“The defendant is a sociopathic felon who has made repeated death threats to me and others in attempts to avoid prosecution, to retaliate and to intimidate while awaiting trial on various felonies,” Basinger said.Richey spent 21 years on Ohio's death row in the 1986 fire death of a 2-year-old Columbus Grove girl. An appellate court overturned his conviction and awarded him a new trial but Richey agreed to plead guilty to a lesser offense in exchange for being sentenced to time already served.Richey said Basinger, who was the prosecutor at Richey's 1987 trial, took a lot of things he said out of context and twisted it. “Your honor, a lot of what Judge Basinger said is a lot of crap,” Richey said.Richey then apologized for the threat he left for Basinger on a voice mail.“I was wrong. It was just a prank and I was drunk,” he said. Basinger dismissed the notion Richey made the phone threat as a drunken prank. “Threats to a police officer, judge or prosecutor directly threaten the criminal justice system if not dealt with harshly,” Basinger said.Judge Dale Crawford, who sentenced Richey, said he believes Richey's behavior and threats will continue. Basinger said Richey hasn't changed his behavior throughout his life and the same behavior problems he had 30 years ago, he's still displaying.“The defendant has never taken responsibility for any of his actions, has blamed others for the crimes that he commits, and consistently misrepresents the events of his criminal activity,” Basinger said.Richey's attorney, Greg Meyers, said Richey suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder from the 21 years he spent in prison.After the hearing, Richey's fiancée, Karen Charves, said Richey has his problems but is a kind man she has known for more than a year and has lived with him for nine months.“The monster they were describing in there is not my Kenny,” she said. “He's been the most wonderful man I've ever met.”Charves said she will wait for Richey to be released from prison.“The day he gets out, we're getting married,” she said.Richey's brother, Steve Richey, said his brother has good reason to be angry.“The man they were talking about in there is a man fueled by anger because they put him in prison for 21.5 years for a crime he didn't commit,” Steven Richey said.The three-year sentence and an incident a few years ago in which detectives sent Richey a letter taunting him while he was in a prison overseas show they are out to get him, Steve Richey said.“Do I see them in chains and shackles? No,” he said.Crawford also extended Richey's civil protection order until Jan. 7, 2018, which means Richey is supposed to stay away from those involved in his original case.While Richey was born in Scotland he also has U.S. citizenship. His fight to get off death row captured attention around the world.
Tara Cutlip, 21 and pregnant with her second child, was shot and killed Saturday in her Bahama Drive home. Loved ones gather in front of Tara's home to remember her and speak out against domestic violence.