Kenny Richey faces 17 years in jail 'for beating his son with baseball bat'

SCOT Kenny Richey, who spent 21 years on death row in the United States, is facing another 17 years in a US jail after being arrested for allegedly beating up his 23-year-old son and issuing "terroristic threats".

• Kenny Richey claims US authorities are still furious over his release from death row. Picture: Esme Allen

Richey spoke yesterday of his fears that he will receive the most severe punishment possible, as US authorities are still "furious" over his release from death row and his subsequent return to Scotland.

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Richey, 45, who went back to live to the US last year after an ill-fated two years in his home country, was arrested after a disturbance at his home in Brainerd, Minnesota.

He is facing two charges of assaulting his son Sean, 23, with a metal baseball bat and a further charge of issuing "terroristic threats" that he would kill the arresting officers.

The assault charges carry a possible 14-year sentence, while the threat charge could lead to a further three years in jail.

Richey, who has been released on $3,000 (1,850) police bail, intends to plead not guilty to the charges when he appears in court on 19 January.

Speaking from his home last night, he admitted there had been a violent dispute between him and his son in the early hours last Wednesday. He claimed there had been no complaint filed by Sean, however, and that officers who turned up at his home were violent towards him, prompting his verbal attack on them.

He said: "Me and Sean had a bust-up and he left the house. We'd been drinking and something was said. He tried to punch me a few times and came at me with a baseball bat. I got the bat off him and he got a smack on the head during the struggle.

"He left the house and I haven't seen him since, but I know he wouldn't have called the police.

"A neighbour must have called the police and they arrived and arrested me. But they went way over the top.

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"I'm not a well man," Richey said. "I'm on oxygen for emphysema, I've got a broken ankle, I can hardly stand never mind walk. But the police turned up all tooled-up, put me in cuffs and dragged me away.

"I told them to leave me the hell alone, that I was unwell. They just pulled me out, I was in agony with my ankle. When they wouldn't listen, I did lash out at them, and threatened them. But whatever I said was under severe provocation."

Richey added: "The Americans owe me 21 years for the time I spent on death row. But that won't make any difference. This is not Scotland, where you can get a fair trial. This is America. And there are plenty of people over here who want to see me back in jail for avoiding the death penalty. They are furious that I'm still alive.

"I think they are going to throw everything at me."

Police confirmed the arrest. A spokesman said: "We have arrested a 45-year-old man for assault at 1:53 am last Wednesday at a residence in Cherrywood Drive, Brainerd."

Richey is staying in Minnesota with his ex-wife, Wendy Amerud, and their son. He has also met his grandchildren, Sean's children, for the first time after returning to the US.

Richey has two grandchildren in Minnesota, six-year-old Taliyah and three-year-old Taiton.

He initially returned to the US to be with his father Jim, who died after a long battle with prostate cancer. But after rekindling his love affair with Wendy, he decided to remain in the US.

Richey left his home town of Edinburgh at the age of 18 to live with his father in Ohio, where he joined the US Marines. But he then spent 21 years awaiting execution in Ohio after being convicted of starting a fire that killed two-year-old Cynthia Collins.

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He was released three years ago after pleading no contest to a lesser charge of child neglect.

His two years back in Scotland were mired in controversy. He returned to a hero's welcome at Edinburgh Airport. But he was soon pictured snorting cocaine and was banned from a casino. He also faced charges of assaulting a man in his home, but was cleared after spending seven months on remand in Saughton Prison.

He also told of a cancer scare over a tumour in his mouth, which turned out to be benign.