OTTAWA, Ohio -- After 21 years in prison, Kenneth Richey will now spend another three years behind bars.
Richey, 47, now of Tupelo, Miss., was sentenced today in Putnam County Common Pleas Court on a felony count of retaliation for phoning in a threat to Judge Randall Basinger on New Year's Eve.
Judge Basinger was an assistant county prosecutor in 1986 when Richey was charged with setting a fire that killed a 2-year-old girl in Columbus Grove, Ohio. The conviction and death sentence were overturned in 2007 by a federal appeals court, which cited questionable arson evidence. A plea agreement in Putnam County led to Richey's release from prison in January, 2008.
Visiting Judge Dale Crawford handed down the sentence in a courtroom filled with eight friends and family of Richey.
Richey, who was led into the court room in handcuffs wearing green and gray prison stripes, said his threat against Judge Basinger was a drunken prank and apologized.
Richey had pleaded guilty to retaliation, a third-degree felony.
Judge Basinger made a victim statement in which he called Richey a threat to the public who needs to be incarcerated to the maximum sentence.
"The defendant is a sociopathic felon who has made repeated death threats to me and others in attempts to avoid prosecution," the judge said.