Prison lawyer says former Dying Row Scot Kenny Richey was his most ‘aggressive shopper’

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Criminal lawyer says former Death Row Scot Kenny Richey was his most 'aggressive client'

A senior criminal lawyer has found that former death row inmate Kenny Richey was his most aggressive client.

Ronnie Renucci QC said Richey’s behavior questioned whether the decision to free him was the right one.

He also told how his client tried to intimidate the police when he was interviewed in connection with an attack and robbery.

The former US Marine, originally from Edinburgh, was sentenced to death for the murder of two-year-old Cynthia Collin, who died in a fire in her mother’s home in Columbus Grove, Ohio in June 1986.

Ronnie Renucci QC said Richey’s behavior questioned whether the decision to free him was the right one

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He alleged it was a miscarriage of justice and was finally released in 2008 after filing a plea against manslaughter, child endangerment, and breaking and entering into a plea.

Richey returned to Scotland and Renucci acted for him in the Paisley High Court in 2009 when he was charged with assault and robbery.

The 56-year-old went to the United States and was jailed for 12 years earlier this year for threatening a prosecutor who was involved in his original trial.

Renucci, the vice dean of the faculty of lawyers, chose his dealings with Richey as his most memorable case in an interview with the online legal platform Hey Legal.

He said, “I was ordered to try Kenny Richey, the man who was on death row in Ohio.

“He was originally from Edinburgh and after his pardon came back to live in Edinburgh.

“He was charged with assault and robbery and I appeared for him in Paisley High Court.

“It was especially memorable to Richey himself, who was probably the toughest client I have ever had.

“I still remember his police interview, in which it was the most bullying, horrific, aggressive, and intimidating interview I have ever seen, and that was Richey for the police.

Kenny Richey was on Ohio death row for 21 years after being convicted of arson in January 1987 for the murder of two-year-old Cynthia Collins.  In December 2007 he accepted a plea deal that resulted in his release from death row and his return to Scotland on January 9, 2008.

Kenny Richey was on Ohio death row for 21 years after being convicted of arson in January 1987 for the murder of two-year-old Cynthia Collins

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“Obviously he has been pardoned and we know there are false beliefs.

“But you wonder if there is such a thing as a false pardon.

“I wouldn’t imagine it would be very comfortable to be on death row, but he was a very difficult guy.

“He has since moved back to America, and I remember reading a few years ago that he was in trouble again and was on trial again in America.”

Richey was accused of assaulting a 64-year-old man in an apartment in Edinburgh in July 2008, robbing him of a cell phone and money.

The indictment was dropped during the trial for lack of confirmation, but he pleaded guilty to threatening a tax battle after he was denied bail on the case.

Lord McEwan decided to free him at this point as he had already been in custody for seven months and the judge said he had suffered enough.

Richey’s final prison sentence came after threatening Randall Basinger in videos posted on Facebook last year.

Basinger was a prosecutor who helped secure the murder conviction against Richey in 1987.