Kenneth Richey (file photo)
Kenneth Richey (file photo)

OTTAWA — The appointment of a special prosecutor in the case against Kenneth Richey has resulted in a spate of new charges against the former Putnam County man.

Richey was arrested in Columbus on Sept. 30 of last year after a county resident contacted the Ottawa Police Department with concerns regarding a post Richey placed on a social media site. According to reports at the time, Richey made credible threats against a Putnam County man, later identified as former county assistant prosecutor and judge Randall Basinger. In a Facebook Live video, Richey allegedly threatened Basinger, saying he would kill the man “who took his life away.”

In November of last year, a grand jury indicted Richey on two counts of retaliation, and one count each of violating a protection order and tampering with evidence.

Citing conflicts, Common Pleas Court Judge Keith Schierloh recused himself from the case. Then, earlier this year, Putnam County Prosecutor Gary Lammers requested special counsel from the Ohio Attorney General’s Office. The prosecuting attorney appointed, Micah Ault, returned to the grand jury last week, presenting new evidence and seeking new charges. The grand jury then indicted Richey on 12 counts of retaliation, four counts of violating a protection order, and one count tampering with evidence, all felonies of the third degree.

Richey was first arrested and convicted of aggravated murder, arson, and child endangerment in 1986 related to the death of a two-year-old Cynthia Collins. Richey spent 21 years in prison, most of which on death row, before his conviction was overturned on appeal. After pleading guilty to involuntary manslaughter, Richey was credited with time served and released from prison.

In 2012, while living in Mississippi, Richey called Basinger and verbally threatened him, a clash that led to a three-year prison sentence.

An arraignment in the matter is scheduled for today at 11 a.m. in Common Pleas Court.