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Ohio Supreme Court won’t hear appeal over online threats

August 3, 2021 GMT

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The Ohio Supreme Court will not hear an appeal filed by a former death row inmate seeking to overturn his conviction and sentence for threatening a former assistant prosecutor.

Kenneth Richey, 58, posted videos on Facebook in which he threatened the prosecutor and his family, the courts determined. The videos did not mention the prosecutor by name, but an appellate court agreed that past threats made by Richey established that he was the target of the new threats.

Richey was sentenced to three years for each of four felony counts. with the sentences being served consecutively.

Richey, who acted as his own attorney, claimed he had been betrayed by people with whom he had entrusted his Facebook page. A cousin and an ex-wife had reported the videos to authorities, and Richey argued in his filing with the top court that the prosecutor would never have become aware of his statements if “someone trusted did not betray such access.” authorization.”

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Richey, who holds dual American and Scottish citizenship, was on death row until 2008 after being convicted of setting a fire that killed a 2-year-old girl. He denied any involvement, and a U.S. court eventually determined that his lawyers mishandled the case. Richey was set free under a plea deal and had drawn support from Pope John Paul II.

The Ohio Supreme Court issued its decision Tuesday without comment.