Admitted cold case killer wants to change plea, claims confession was coerced

Last year DNA evidence led police to a killer who murdered a local woman in 1982. He admitted it. Now, he wants to change his mind.

19 Action News with the update on a case that is costing taxpayers a fortune.

Richard Wilson is coming up with excuse after excuse to withdraw his guilty plea in the death of Mary Ann Finegan and the rape and attempted murder of her companion. The case is rock solid, but he's playing the system and buying delays with your money.

"This is our coldest case solved to date," said Assistant County Prosecutor Rick Bell.

In 1982, Finegan and her friend were in a truck parked not far from the old Isis Bar at West Sixth and St. Clair. Wilson pointed a gun at them and forced them to drive to a remote field in The Flats. He raped, shot and killed Finegan, raped and shot the friend and left her for dead.

Wilson didn't count on one thing. That the second woman survived in these tall weeds until the next morning. A passing policeman heard her moaning and at first thought it was a cat.

"She spent five months in the hospital," said Bell. "The pellet is still in her spine and she's here to talk about it she wants to talk about this case."

Wilson was already in prison in Pennsylvania when he was brought back to Ohio and charged. The air tight case began with DNA.

"Now that we've put the case together with DNA, we've gone back to that gun and we've matched that pellet to one recovered from the deceased victim," said Bell.

On top of that, the victim and a bus driver identified Wilson all these years later. In August, he plead guilty to avoid a death sentence, but now claims that he lawyers coerced him into the plea and wants to withdraw it. He's playing the system.

The court has already awarded lawyers, consultants and others more than $30,000 in fee's and that doesn't take into account the courts own overhead. Costs will rise if there is a trial - prosecutors say they're ready.

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