Associated Press | - 01.08.2008
DAYTON — A British citizen released from jail after spending two decades on Ohio’s death row was thrown another roadblock Tuesday in his journey home to Scotland.
Ken Richey, 43, was to leave from Dayton International Airport as part of a plea deal, but his flight to Chicago was canceled because of weather.
It was unclear Tuesday night when he would leave for Scotland.
Richey, who pleaded no contest Monday to three charges related to a fire that killed a 2-year-old girl, walked free for the first time since 1986 when he was accused of setting the fire at an apartment complex.
Richey arrived at the airport Tuesday afternoon wearing blue jeans and a black U.S. Marines baseball cap. His flight was delayed for about two hours before it was canceled.
He refused to talk to reporters, saying, “I can’t speak.”
Richey pleaded no contest to attempted involuntary manslaughter, child endangering and breaking and entering in a plea deal that allowed him to be sentenced to 21 years he had already served. Under terms of the deal, Richey made no admission that he had anything to do with causing the fire that killed Cynthia Collins.
Richey also agreed to leave the United States within a day. Prosecutors told him they were worried about threats against him, his family and attorney said.
In Scotland, he planned to stay in Edinburgh with his mother, who he hasn’t seen in more than two decades.
Richey will be free to return to the U.S. because he is also a citizen here, but he must stay out of the county where the death occurred for five years.
Prosecutors approved the deal with him after a federal appeals court determined Richey’s lawyers mishandled the case. The court overturned Richey’s conviction and death sentence last year.
Putnam County Prosecutor Gary Lammers said the passage of time and the appeals court decision would have made it difficult to prove arson.