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Richey faces criminal charges old and new

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News Brainerd, 56401
Brainerd Dispatch
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Brainerd MN 506 James St. / PO Box 974 56401

Criminal charges of terroristic threats, stalking, obstruction of the legal process and disorderly conduct have been leveled against Kenneth Thomas Richey in connection with his Saturday arrest on allegations that he threatened Crow Wing County Detox staff. 

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Richey, 46, was charged Tuesday in Crow Wing County District Court. The Crow Wing County Attorney’s office also refiled charges stemming from Richey’s arrest for allegedly assaulting his son January of 2010 at their Baxter home. Richey was scheduled to go to trial on those charges in January but the case was dismissed this past January without prejudice, allowing prosecutors to reopen the case. 

The charges against Richey stemming from Saturday’s incident are felony terroristic threats, gross misdemeanor stalking with intent to injure, misdemeanor obstruction of the legal process and misdemeanor disorderly conduct.

According to the criminal complaint:

• At 10:55 a.m. Saturday Baxter police received a call from an individual who indicated that a homeowner in Baxter had contacted the caller and reported she wanted an intoxicated man who had been very intimidating and threatening toward her removed from the residence. An officer made contact with the homeowner, who said the intoxicated man, identified as Richey, had been drinking all day and also was on medication. She indicated she did not feel safe going into her home if Richey was there nor did she feel her residence was safe if Richey was left alone there. 

• Baxter officers went to the residence and made contact with Richey in the garage. Richey was holding a phone in one hand and a beer in the other. Richey was told he needed to speak to the officers but Richey began walking back into the house toward a family room. An officer grabbed Richey’s right arm and gave him a verbal command to come back into the garage but Richey pulled away and tried to get into the house. With the assistance of a second officer, Richey was escorted out of the house and placed into custody. Richey was then advised that due to his state of mind and consumption of alcoholic beverages he best and safest option would be for him to go to detox. 

• Shortly after Richey was transported to detox, a staff member called Crow Wing County Sheriff’s dispatch to report he had threatened staff and that they wanted him removed from the facility. 

• An officer spoke with a staff member at detox, who said Richey indicated he would kill somebody to get out of the facility, and that he was going to break out of the facility. The staff member said she took a set of keys to get medication out of a cupboard and Richey asked her if those also were the keys for the front door. When the staff member said they were, Richey asked her whether she wanted to give them up now or if she wanted him to take them from her. The staff member said she feared for her safety, did not feel safe with Richey at the facility and believed that he had to leave the facility for everyone’s well being.

In January of 2010 Richey was arrested for allegedly assaulting his 25-year-old at their Baxter home and threatening Crow Wing County Jail staff. 

The case was dismissed in January but reopened Tuesday when Richey was charged with felony second-degree assault, three counts of felony terroristic threats and one count of misdemeanor domestic assault.

Richey earlier was freed from prison after spending more than 20 years on death row in Ohio. In that case, Richey was convicted of setting a fire in 1986 that killed a 2-year-old girl. He stayed on death row until a federal appeals court determined in August of 2007 that his lawyers mishandled his case.

The state of Ohio was set to try him again and seek another death sentence. Instead, Kenneth Richey pleaded no contest to the state’s charges accusing him of telling the toddler’s mother he would baby-sit the girl, but failing to do so and leaving her in harm’s way.

The deal let Kenneth Richey, a U.S.-British citizen, go home to Scotland without admitting that he had anything to do with the fire. It isn’t known when Kenneth Richey returned to the U.S. 

MATT ERICKSON may be reached at matt.erickson@brainerddispatch.com or 855-5857.

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