Sunday, January 22, 2012

Former Ohio Death Row Inmate Arrested

Authorities in northwest Ohio have obtained a warrant for Ken Richey a former death row inmate.  Richey left a threatening phone message at a county office on New Year’s Eve. The message was directed at one person who considered it a threat, reported the Associated Press.

Officials wouldn’t comment about the content of the message or say to whom the threat was directed.

Richey left death row in 2008 under a plea deal after a federal court overturned his conviction and death sentence because it determined his lawyers mishandled the case.

He spent 21 years on death row after being convicted of setting a fire that killed a 2-year-old girl in 1986 at a Columbus Grove apartment complex. Prosecutors said he started the fire to get even with a former girlfriend who lived in the same building, according to the Associated Press.

Richey denied any involvement. His new defense team contended that investigators mishandled evidence used to convict Richey and that experts used nonscientific methods to determine that gas or turpentine started the fire.

According to the Associated Press, Richey is fighting extradition to Ohio so officials will need a warrant from Gov. John Kasich to bring him back, Putnam County Sheriff Jim Beutler said. It’s not clear how long that will take. He could face up to 10 years in prison if convicted on the latest charges.

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