£5m bail thwarts Richey's bid for freedom

KENNY Richey, the Scot who has spent the last 20 years on death row in the United States, was back behind bars last night after a judge set his bail at $10 million (£5 million), effectively thwarting his latest bid for freedom.

Watched by relatives of the two-year-old girl he is accused of killing 21 years ago, who wore T-shirts and badges bearing pictures of the child, the 43-year-old Scot appeared in the same Ohio court where he was sentenced to death in 1987, as his lawyer called for him to be granted bail while awaiting a retrial. But Gary Lammers, the prosecutor for Putnam County in Ohio, successfully urged the judge to set bail high, pricing out the penniless Richey.

"Pretty good day," Richey, who was made to wear a high-voltage "stun belt" under his clothes to prevent any escape attempt, said sarcastically as he was led from court to be driven back to jail.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Richey was moved off death row at Mansfield Correctional Institution in Ohio last month, after federal judges overturned his conviction for the 1986 murder of Cynthia Collins, and moved 95 miles to Putnam County Jail in the town of Ottawa. His new trial is expected to take place early next year.

But Judge Alan Travis was told by prosecutors yesterday of threatening comments made by Richey over the years which could be considered to make him a potential risk to witnesses. Among these are comments he wrote to a friend while in custody in 1986, prior to his original trial, when he stated: "When I get out, I won't stop hunting them all down until everyone who is involved in this case is dead."

Richey's father James, brother Steven, and ex-wife Wendy have offered their homes in the US as collateral to help Richey make bail, but the joint value of the properties is only half of the 10 per cent of the bail needed to gain his release.

They insist he did not set the fire that killed Cynthia Collins at her home in Columbus Grove, Ohio, and would not harm anyone if he were to be freed.

James Richey said: "I've seen Kenny in jail twice this last week, that's the first time since 2001. I've not touched him in 22 years. I'll have to wait a little longer."

Related topics: