Former death row Scot Kenny Richey faces 12 years in jail for threatening to kill a US judge

Edinburgh-raised death row inmate Kenny Richey is facing 12 years in jail after being found guilty of threatening to kill a US judge.

Richey, 55, was convicted of making four Facebook videos directed at Randall Basinger where he vowed "the man who took my life away" was going to die.

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

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The Scottish Sun reports that a jury took just 90 minutes to reach their verdict at Putnam County Common Please Court, Ohio on Tuesday.

Kenny Richey is facing 12 years in jail.Kenny Richey is facing 12 years in jail.
Kenny Richey is facing 12 years in jail.

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”.

Mr Basinger also told of an intercepted letter which Richey, a former US Marine, tried sending to a friend while in jail in 1986.

Mr Basinger continued: “In that letter he stated that he wanted to kill me.

“He stated that he wanted to hire someone to kill me.

“He concocted some sort of code and mixed up the letters in the words and I think his exact verbiage was, ‘Find somebody who will kill Basigner the prosecutor so that he may rot in hell.'"

Born in the Netherlands, Richey was raised in Edinburgh before moving to Ohio to be with his American father in 1982.

He ‘destroyed my life’

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As a result of threats, Mr Basinger said he undertook gun training and obtained a weapon licence and strengthened his home surveillance system.

Richey’s estranged wife, Karen Charves, also gave evidence in court.

Judge Dale Crawford allowed her to appear via video link from her Mississippi home as she has tested positive for coronavirus.

Karen told the court that Richey called Mr Basinger, “The man who destroyed my life.”

But Richey's lawyer Greg Meyers said the state had failed to prove their case “beyond a reasonable doubt.”

He said: “Clearly he’s been mad at the man.

“Nobody here’s stupid, we know that.

“But when he holds back the name, what we know from other witnesses, Randy Basinger included, that there are other people against whom he has held anger.

“Did he (Richey) purposely utter a threat against Randall Basinger, expecting that that threat would travel up to Putnam County? Maybe. But maybe is not enough.

“You can’t convict on a hunch, or on the fact that he’s done this before.”

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However, the jury found him guilty after just an hour and a half of deliberations after a two-day trial.

The four convictions of ‘retaliation’ each carry a maximum three years in jail.

2012 conviction

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.

This week’s trial was heard in the same courthouse where Richey was released from death row in 2008.

He had been convicted of starting a blaze which killed two-year-old Cynthia Collins.

But Richey always denied it, claiming it was a miscarriage of justice and he was backed by Amnesty International UK, Pope John II and Hollywood star Susan Sarandon.

He was eventually freed after admitting lesser charges.

He’s served various jails terms in Scotland and America since being freed and was arrested in October last year over the alleged threats to Mr Basinger.

Richey will be sentenced next month.

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