OTTAWA —Kenneth Richey, who spent 21 years in prison in the death of a Columbus Grove girl, plead not guilty via a video hearing to five counts of retaliation in Putnam County Common Pleas Court on Thursday.
Richey, 55, was arrested Oct. 3 in Franklin County on a warrant issued on retaliation against former Putnam County Assistant Prosecutor and Common Pleas Court Judge Randall Basinger.
Richey participated in a video hearing Thursday from the Putnam County Jail overseen by Common Pleas Court Judge Keith Schierloh.
A grand jury on Wednesday charged Richey with five counts, including three counts of retaliation, a felony of the third degree, one county violating a protection order, and one count tampering with evidence.
During Thursday’s video hearing Schierloh set a pre-trial for Richey at 3:30 p.m. Nov. 4.
The court will have 14 days to hear any deficiencies in the indictment and the state provide any response by Oct. 24.
Richey said he could not afford an attorney and does not have a job. Alex Treece was appointed to represent Richey.
According to court documents, a Putnam County resident who wished to remain anonymous received a Facebook Live video with Richey making verbal threats against Basinger and said he would kill the man who he said “took his life away.”
Strick watched the video and turned it over to the prosecutor’s 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 that was still approved to continue Thursday. Conditions of the bond is that the defendant must continue to reside at his brother’s Cloverdale residence, not be allowed to consume alcohol or illegal drugs or prescription medications unless prescribed by a physician, and must submit to alcohol and drug screenings every Monday and Thursday. He must not have contact with the alleged victim and must appear at all scheduled court hearings
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 Tulepo, 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.