COLUMBUS — Kenneth Richey, who spent 21 years in prison in the death of a Columbus Grove girl, is back in jail in Putnam County after threatening retaliation against an unidentified Putnam County resident.
Richey, 55, was arrested Monday in Franklin County on a warrant issued for retaliation against a Putnam County resident.
Putnam County Sheriff Brian Siefker said a warrant was issued from Franklin County for Richey on Sept. 27. Richey was booked into the Putnam County Jail on Monday on a $500,000 bond. Richey had a video arraignment, and a court date is set for 11 a.m. Oct. 10 in Putnam County Municipal Court, overseen by Judge Chad Niese.
“On Sept. 23, I got a call from dispatch in reference to a citizen concern of an online Facebook Live video,” said Lt. Josh Strick, of the Ottawa Police Department. “I responded to the phone call, and the video was taken an hour before I was as the citizen’s residence.
“The citizen and I watched the video together, and there was language in the video that used threats possible against the citizen,” Strick said.
Strick started the investigation, transcribed the video and turned it over to the prosecutor’s office, and the arrest warrant was made.
Richey was prosecuted in 1986 on charges of aggravated murder, arson and child endangerment in the death of Cynthia Collins, 2, in Columbus Grove, who died in an apartment fire. In 1987, he was found guilty and sentenced to death row.
He had dual British-U.S. citizenship, and the case received international attention in places where the death penalty is not allowed. A letter against his execution was signed by more than 100 members of the British Parliament and the late Pope John Paul II.
Richey spent 21 years in prison, most of the sentence on death row. His conviction was overturned on appeal, as the court was concerned with how his defense handled the case.
Richey plead guilty to a charge of involuntary manslaughter and was credited with time served and released.
After his release, he returned to Scotland for a short period and then returned to the U.S., where he moved to Tupelo, Mississippi. While living there, he verbally threatened former Putnam County Assistant Prosecutor and Common Pleas Court Judge Randall Basinger in 2012. He was arrested and indicted on a single charge of retaliation, a third-degree felony. He was convicted and given a maximum sentence of three years in prison.
Reach Jennifer Peryam at 567-242-0362.