Richard Byrd
Richard Byrd

LIMA — “It is the State’s position that the defendant should never, ever be released into a civilized community, ever,” said Allen Co. Assistant Prosecutor Tony Miller during Richard J. Byrd’s sentencing hearing held last Wednesday, Dec. 5 at the Allen County Justice Center in Lima.

“This case is as bad as I’ve seen in terms of predatory nature, and I’ve been doing this for more than a decade,” Miller continued. “I don’t want to go into great detail as to what happened, the court is aware of it. But, as I’m sure the court senses and can appreciate, this is an individual that, if anyone deserved to spend the rest of his life in prison, this individual is that one. He simply cannot be released into society, ever. He is a true predator.”

With the lead Detective Callie Basinger sitting beside him at the prosecutor’s table, Miller then asked the court to do all within its power to guarantee that Byrd is never released from prison for his crimes. The court obliged.

Beginning around March of 2010, and continuing through several years until Dec. 2016, Byrd would regularly perform sexual acts on a boy who, at the time, was between the ages of seven and 14. All incidents reportedly occurred at Lake Cody, a campground in Allen County, where Byrd maintained a trailer.

The incidents ceased when the boy grew older and physically threatened Byrd. He then reported Byrd to authorities.

The victim was not present in the courtroom on this day. Members of his family observed the proceedings along with a representative of Crime Victim Services, who was there to offer the family support. It was fully within their rights to make a statement to the court, or choose, as they did, not to do so. The nature of the crime is abhorrent enough that the court needed no further incentive to ensure that Byrd never again walks free.

For the 10 counts of rape of a person under the age of 13, all first degree felonies, Byrd was sentenced to a total of 50 years in prison. For the three remaining counts against Byrd, two counts of sexual battery, both of which are third degree felonies; and one count of gross sexual imposition, a third degree felony, Byrd received another 6 years in prison. In total, Byrd, aged 62, was sentenced to 56 years in prison. He will likely remain incarcerated for the remainder of his natural life.