OTTAWA — A new attorney and visiting judge has been appointed to Kenneth Richey who is facing two counts each of retaliation, violating a protection order and tampering with evidence.
According to Gary Lammers, Putnam County prosecutor, Richey’s new attorney is Greg Meyers, Ohio Public Defender’s Office, and visiting judge is Dale Crawford, Franklin County.
Putnam County Common Pleas Court Judge Keith Schierloh was disqualified from participating in further court proceedings. A trial date was originally scheduled for the end of this month, but was vacated to allow the visiting judge and attorney to review the case, Lammers said.
A grand jury previously charged Richey with five counts, including three counts of retaliation, a felony of the third degree, one count violating a protection order and one count tampering with evidence.
According to court documents, a Putnam County resident who wished to remain anonymous received a Facebook Live video with Richey making verbal threats against Former Putnam County Common Pleas Court Judge Randall Basinger and said he would kill the man who he said “took his life away.”
The video was turned over to the prosecutor by Putnam County Sheriffs Office and an arrest warrant was made. A warrant was issued from Franklin County for Richey on Sept. 27 and he was booked into the Putnam County Jail on a $500,000 bond.
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 Mississippi. While living there, he verbally threatened 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.