Former Edinburgh death row prisoner Kenny Richey jailed for 12 years in US

Facebook threats to judge who ‘took my life away’

Kenny Richey was convicted last month
Kenny Richey was convicted last month

FORMER Death Row prisoner Kenny Richey has been jailed for 12 years in the United States for threatening to kill a former judge.

Edinburgh-raised Richey, 55, was convicted last month of making four Facebook videos directed at Randall Basinger in which he vowed "the man who took my life away" was going to die.

Mr Basinger was a prosecutor who in 1987 secured a murder conviction against Richey over the death of two-year-old girl Cynthia Collins in a fire the year before at her mother's apartmentin Columbus Grove, Ohio.

Richey, a former US Marine, was sentenced to death, but claimed it was a miscarriage of justice and was eventually freed in 2008 after agreeing to enter a 'no contest' plea to manslaughter, child endangering and breaking and entering.

He was arrested in October over the alleged threats to Mr Basinger and after a two-day trial at Putnam County Court in Ohio, he was found guilty of four counts of retaliation, which each carry a maximum three-year jail term.

On Friday, Judge Dale Crawford sentenced Richey to a total of 12 years in prison. He told him he was the "worst form of offender from which the public needs to be protected."

The court heard that in the videos Richey repeatedly threatened "the man who ruined my life".

He did not name Mr Basinger in his threats, but his estranged wife, Karen Charves, gave evidence that he called Mr Basinger “the man who destroyed my life”.

Retired Mr Basinger had told the court how Richey also threatened to murder the children in his family.

Mr Basinger said: “I had to tell my children that Kenneth Richey was threatening to kill their children.”

And he recalled another threat where Richey said, “That mother****** who took my life is gonna die, he and his family”.

Richey's lawyer Greg Meyers argued the state had failed to prove their case "beyond a reasonable doubt."

But the jury took just 90 minutes to return guilt verdicts on all four charges which stated that on or about June 8, June 9, June 14 and September 23 last year Richey made Facebook Live recordings intended to intimidate and threaten Mr Basinger.

Addressing the court before Richey's sentencing on Friday, Mr Basinger said: "My children are urging me to give up my career and move away from the area, but as a prosecutor I repeatedly urge my victims to stand up and confront violent offenders, and I felt I should do the same.

"The criteria for a maximum sentence is present, and I ask the court to impose the maximum, consecutive sentence."

Richey was also convicted in 2012 of making threats against Basinger in a telephone message and served a three-year prison term.

Richey apologised and said he had been drinking before making what he described was a prank call and claimed he was suffering from depression and had been provoked by police officers.

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this story on our website. While I have your attention, I also have an important request to make of you.

The dramatic events of 2020 are having a major impact on many of our advertisers - and consequently the revenue we receive. We are now more reliant than ever on you taking out a digital subscription to support our journalism.

Subscribe to the Edinburgh Evening News online and enjoy unlimited access to trusted, fact-checked news and sport from Edinburgh and the Lothians. Visit now to sign up.

By supporting us, we are able to support you in providing trusted, fact-checked content for this website.

Joy Yates

Editorial Director