Bradshaw v. Richey

PETITIONER: Margaret Bradshaw, Warden
RESPONDENT: Kenneth T. Richey
LOCATION: Old Farm Village Apartments

DOCKET NO.: 05-101
DECIDED BY: Roberts Court (2005-2006)
LOWER COURT: United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit

CITATION: 546 US 74 (2005)
DECIDED: Nov 28, 2005
GRANTED: Nov 28, 2005

Facts of the case

Kenneth T. Richey attempted to kill his ex-girlfriend and her new boyfriend by setting fire to his ex-girlfriend’s apartment. The ex-girlfriend and her boyfriend escaped, but the neighbor’s two-year-old child was killed in the fire. Richey was convicted of aggravated felony murder and sentenced to death on the theory of transferred intent. On direct appeal with new counsel, his conviction and sentence were affirmed by the Ohio Supreme Court.

Richey sought state post-conviction relief but was denied by both the state trial court and the state appellate court. He then petitioned for federal habeas relief, but the federal district court denied his petition. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit reversed and held that under Ohio law, the theory of transferred intent cannot be applied to aggravated felony murder, and Richey received ineffective assistance of counsel based on his trial counsel’s mishandling of the arson expert and expert testimony.


1. Under Ohio law, can the doctrine of transferred intent be applied to aggravated felony murder?

2. Should a federal appellate court rely on evidence that was not properly presented to the state courts in determining whether a defendant received ineffective assistance of counsel?