DOVER — Barring an unforeseen delay, the murder trial of a 29-year-old man charged with a shooting death during an alleged drug deal turned robbery in 2010 will commence at 9 a.m. Monday.
Defendant Isaiah McCoy, who has served approximately 6 1/2 years in prison after arrest and a subsequent mistrial, declined a plea offer to manslaughter last week in Kent County Superior Court.
The case was once considered a capital murder offense and Mr. McCoy was placed on death row after an earlier conviction later overturned by the Delaware Supreme Court due to the actions of a prosecutor and trial judge.
New Judge Robert B. Young, who will oversee the bench trial, questioned Mr. McCoy extensively last week regarding his decision to decline the plea. The defendant described his position as “unequivocal” and emphatically proclaimed his innocence.
Salisbury, Maryland resident Jeffrey Munford died from gunshot wounds after an incident in a Rodney Village area bowling alley parking lot in May 2010.
While accepting a plea offer could have freed Mr. McCoy immediately if sentencing allowed, life in prison was also possible if a habitual offender status was determined with any felony conviction.
Current charges include two counts of first-degree murder, coming with mandatory life in prison with a conviction. The option of a lesser included second-degree murder finding would bring 15 years to life.
Mr. McCoy is also charged with first-degree robbery and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, which each could bring 3 to 25 years. A second-degree conspiracy count is mandated for 0 to 2 years maximum incarceration.
Reach staff writer Craig Anderson at firstname.lastname@example.org