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December 19, 2007

Notable plea deal in controversial capital case

As detailed in this AP story, a controversial capital case from Ohio has now been resolved through a plea deal. Here are the specifics:

A man who spent 20 years on Ohio's death row before his sentence was overturned has agreed to a plea deal that will give him his freedom, his attorney said Wednesday.  Ken Richey, a U.S. and British citizen, will enter a plea Thursday and return to his native Scotland on Friday, said the attorney, Ken Parsigian.

Richey was convicted of murder 20 years ago in a fire that killed a 2-year-old girl. Prosecutors said Richey set the northwest Ohio blaze to get even with his former girlfriend, who lived in the same apartment building as the toddler.  A federal appeals court ruled in August that Richey's former lawyer mishandled his case and ordered prosecutors to try Richey again or release him. The state had been set to try him again in March.

Instead, he will plead no contest to attempted involuntary manslaughter, child endangering and breaking and entering, and be sentenced to time already served, Parsigian said.... Richey has drawn support from members of the British Parliament and the late Pope John Paul II. He was nearly out of appeals until the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals court ordered a new trial. The court said expert testimony could have contended that the fire wasn't intentionally set.

This article from the Times UK spotlights the international attention that this case has long garnered.

December 19, 2007 at 01:50 PM | Permalink


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There is a UK Sky TV News video on this at:

I understand from a friend that Clive Stafford-Smith was interviewed also, but I haven't, unfortunately, been able to trace a video of that.

Posted by: peter | Dec 19, 2007 2:47:16 PM


From the article:

The charges of attempted involuntary manslaughter and child endangerment, he said, are “based on this trail of events: (1) Hope Collins asked Kenny to baby-sit for her daughter, Cynthia; (2) Kenny agreed to baby-sit; (3) Kenny did not baby-sit, leaving Cynthia in harm’s way; (4) As a result, Cynthia died.

“The [breaking-and-entering charge] is based on facts that Kenny stole a plant from a garden shop. That’s it. Mr. Richey has always maintained that he did not start the fire and did not intend to hurt anyone, and the state is dropping those charges. He also always maintained that he declined when Hope asked him to baby-sit, but that single issue was simply not worth spending six more months in jail for in order to fight it at trial.”

Posted by: | Dec 20, 2007 9:22:30 AM

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