Richie came to town and used the name of "Wes." He got a job working at Krystal's restaurant, The Comeback, and started to become attracted to Krystal's daughter, Babe. One day, "Wes" broke into Ryan's penthouse and looked at a picture of his niece, Emma Lavery. This was when we found out that "Wes" was actually Richie Novak, Annie's brother, and he had just been released from prison. One night, Richie took Babe to a secluded cabin and all of Babe's family and friends were scared since they had just realized Richie's true identity (Annie clued Krystal and everyone else in about how Richie's middle name was Wes and she recognized his picture when Krystal showed it to her). Everyone was happy when Babe came back safely and Krystal told Richie he was fired for lying to her about his identity.
One night, Richie stole J.R.'s car and, while driving it, he hit Zach Slater. He got out and helped Zach Slater, at first, but eventually left him to die at the side of the road. On another day, Richie went hiking, in the woods, and sealed Zach and Greenlee into the bomb shelter in which they were trapped. Eventually, Zach realized that it was Richie who hit him, and he confronted him about it.
Richie revealed that he had leukemia and needed a bone marrow transplant to survive. Ryan had doubts, on Richie's claim, and he kidnapped him to an airplane and forced Richie to give a blood sample so he could have proof that Richie had leukemia. The tests all proved that Richie was not lying-he really had leukemia. At this time, he was also committed to Oak Haven and he got back in touch with his prison psychiatrist, Dr. Chambers. We soon found out that Richie and Dr. Chambers had a deal. The deal was that Dr. Chambers would get Richie released from prison, early, in exchange for being placed as a beneficiary on Richie's life insurance policy. It turned out that Dr. Chambers could not collect, as Richie's beneficiary, since he was found dead.
Richie found out that J.R.'s bone marrow was a match, for his, and hired a couple of men to kidnap him to get his bone marrow since he thought that J.R. would not willingly donate his bone marrow. J.R. was kidnapped and his bone marrow was extracted, from his body, and placed into Richie's body. J.R. even revealed that he knew his bone marrow was a match and that he would have willingly donated it to save Richie. J.R. had suspicions that Richie kidnapped him and sought to prove this so he could convince Babe, who defended Richie and sided with him, that Richie was bad news. Babe still did not believe that Richie would do something so cruel to J.R.
Richie came up with a scheme when he got in touch with a prostitute and paid her to make it look like J.R. slept with her. Richie arranged for Babe to find J.R. and the hooker, together, at a motel room. Babe saw J.R. with the hooker but he was passed out and, when Babe confronted him about this, he did not know what she was referring to at all. Babe started to have her suspicions, about Richie, and she decided to go undercover, as a hooker, to find out if Richie had set up J.R. to be with the hooker. She found out that Richie did mastermind that scheme so she went to Richie and told him it was over between them.
Richie continued to cause trouble for his sister, Annie, and he found out that Annie knew that Ryan's vasectomy did not go through and she did not tell Ryan this since she wanted to get pregnant behind his back. At that time, Richie had just been arrested, for hitting Zach Slater with J.R.'s car, and he needed someone to pay his bail. Richie blackmailed Annie and told her, if she did not pay his bail, he would tell Ryan that Annie knew his vasectomy did not happen and did not tell him since she wanted to get pregnant again with his baby. Annie agreed to pay Richie's bail.
One night, Richie kidnapped Babe and took her to a cabin up at Willow Lake. Babe was rescued by a couple of friends and Richie called up Annie and asked her to get him out of town. Annie went to see Richie and he continued to threaten her. Annie got out a tire iron and used it to kill Richie. Richie was pronounced dead by the authorities. However, he stayed around Pine Valley, for a couple of more weeks, as a ghost to taunt Annie.