Kenny Richey

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Kenneth Thomas Richey[1] (born August 3, 1964 in Zeist) is a British-US dual citizen, born to a Scottish mother and American father, who was raised in Scotland but moved to Ohio, United States to join his father in late 1982.

He was on death row for 21 years in Ohio after being convicted in January 1987 of murdering two-year-old Cynthia Collins by arson in 1986. In December 2007, he accepted a plea bargain, which led to his release from death row and return to Scotland on January 9, 2008.[2]

Richey's plea bargain involved pleading 'no contest' to manslaughter, child endangering and breaking and entering. He was sentenced to time served, with the murder and arson charges dropped. A 'no contest' plea is not an admission of guilt. The accused, by entering a no contest plea, neither disputes or admits to the charges.

During his 20-year incarceration, doubts arose about the entirely circumstantial evidence that led to conviction, particularly the forensic evidence. This led to a campaign to re-examine the evidence. Described by Amnesty International as, "…one of the most compelling cases of apparent innocence that human rights campaigners have ever seen,"[3]

Richey was granted British citizenship in 2003, becoming the first to benefit from a change in British nationality law regarding the status of children of British mothers and non-British fathers born outside the United Kingdom.[4]

He had a live-in girlfriend professional, international dancer Anne Whyte (formerly known as Kimberly) for around six months after he returned home to Scotland whom he still sometimes keeps in touch with.

After returning to the United States in 2010, Richey was arrested in Mississippi and charged in Ohio with phoning in threatening messages to Judge Randall Basinger (who was assistant county prosecutor at the time of Richey's 1987 murder trial). Despite Richey's claim that the threats were merely a drunken prank, Judge Dale Crawford of Putnam County found him guilty and sentenced him to 3 years in prison.[5][6] Richey was released after 2 years and, as of January 2018, is working with the American charity Sanctuary Quarters, building houses for homeless veterans.[7]

See also[edit]

  • Krishna Maharaj, another British national fighting a murder conviction in the United States


  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-08-24. Retrieved 2010-06-03.
  2. ^ "Freed death row Scot arrives home". BBC News. 2008-01-09. Retrieved 2008-01-09.
  3. ^ Amnesty[permanent dead link]
  4. ^ Naughton, Philippe; Sage, Adam (10 May 2003). "Death row Scot seeks help via citizenship application". The Times. London. Retrieved 17 September 2010.
  5. ^ Messina, Ignazio (2012-05-08). "Richey sent back to prison for 3 years". The Blade. Retrieved 2018-05-09.
  6. ^ Carson, Alan. "'Sociopathic felon' Kenny Richey gets 3 years after threat to US judge". The Scotsman. Retrieved 2018-05-09.
  7. ^ King, Diane (2018-01-07). "Former death row Scot Kenny Richey has found redemption building shelters". The Scotsman. Retrieved 2018-05-09.


  • Bradshaw v. Richey, 126 S. Ct. 602, 163 L. Ed. 2d 407, 2005 U.S. LEXIS 9033, 74 U.S.L.W. 3320, 19 Fla. L. Weekly Fed. S 7 (U.S. 2005)
  • Richey v. Mitchell, 395 F.3d 660, 2005 U.S. App. LEXIS 1218, 2005 FED App. 39P (6th Cir.) (6th Cir. Ohio 2005)
  • State v. Richey, Case No. 12-87-2, Court of Appeals of Ohio, Third Appellate District, Putnam County, 1989 Ohio App. LEXIS 4914, 28 December 1989
  • State v. Richey, 64 Ohio St. 3d 353, 1992 Ohio 44, 595 N.E.2d 915, 1992 Ohio LEXIS 1723 (1992)
  • State v. Richey, Case No. 12-97-7, Court Of Appeals Of Ohio, Third Appellate District, Putnam County, 1997 Ohio App. LEXIS 5284, 18 November 1997
  • State v. Richey, 2000 Ohio 1843, 2000 Ohio App. LEXIS 2245 (Ohio Ct. App., Putnam County 26 May 2000)

External links[edit]