Death row inmate in Putnam Cty awaits new trial

PUTNAM COUNTY -- Kenneth Richey claims he never murdered a little girl he was convicted 20 years ago of killing. On Tuesday, Richey was back in Common Pleas Court, this time seeking release on bond while he awaits his new trial.

In August, a Federal Appeals Court ruled his lawyers mishandled the case and expert testimony was flawed. The court ordered Richey be retried or released.

In 1986, Richey was convicted and sentenced to death for setting a fire in Columbus Grove that killed 2-year-old Cynthia Collins. Prosecutors said he set the blaze to punish a former girlfriend who lived in the same building as Cynthia's family.

Richey has always proclaimed his innocence, and, on Tuesday, his legal team of six lawyers asked a judge to release him on bond while they prepare for a new trial. They were turned down by Judge Alan Travis.

This case is getting international attention, reports News 11's Dick Berry. In fact, Richey grew up in Scotland and became a British citizen while behind bars. Reporters from the UK attended his bond hearing in Ottawa.

Also on hand were his ex-wife, Wendy, and his son, Sean. His ex-wife is there, she says, "Because I believe he's innocent."

Richey's been sitting on Ohio's death row since 1986, only recently establishing a bond with the son he never knew.

"About three years ago is when we started talking again. and started getting to know each other again. Now we're inseparable," Richey's son, Sean, says.

His trial is scheduled for Nov. 26. Bond is set at $10 million. Richey remains behind bars but uses two words to describe his day in court: "Pretty good."

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