Accused murderer turns down plea offer; opts for new trial

McCoy Isaiah by .

Isaiah McCoy

DOVER — Having served more than six years in prison for an alleged murder in 2010, Isaiah W. McCoy, 29, declined a plea offer Tuesday morning that might have freed him from prison.

Mr. McCoy, once on death row for the alleged crime before a mistrial was later declared, proclaimed his innocence and said he believed “I would be doing myself a disservice for taking a plea bargain for a crime I didn’t commit.”

The prosecution had presented Mr. McCoy an opportunity to admit to manslaughter and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony. The charges stem from a shooting death in a Rodney Village area bowling alley parking lot.

With time already served, there was potential for Mr. McCoy to be released if sentencing allowed.

However, Deputy Attorney General Stephen Smith also indicated the prosecution’s aim to have Mr. McCoy sentenced as a habitual offender with any felony conviction, resulting in life in prison due to his past criminal history.

Kent County Superior Court Judge Robert B. Young, who will oversee a non-jury trial scheduled to start next Monday morning, accepted Mr. McCoy’s decision after questioning him about understanding its ramifications.

The decision was well-considered, Mr. McCoy told the court, and his attorneys had been “constantly clear” about the pros and cons of the plea offer. He described his position as “unequivocal.”

Referencing the presentation of facts and information he claimed would exonerate him at trial, Mr. McCoy said, “I would like to state that I will continue to emphatically decline the plea offer from the state.”

Mr. McCoy was arrested on May 22, 2010, after the shooting death of Salisbury, Maryland resident Jeffrey Munford in an alleged drug deal that turned into a robbery with fatal consequences.

A first-degree capital murder conviction by a jury against Mr. McCoy in June 2012 was overturned by the Delaware Supreme Court in January due to actions by a prosecutor and trial judge. Mr. McCoy represented himself during the trial.

Current charges include two counts of first-degree murder, which would trigger mandatory life in prison with a guilty finding. The possibility of a lesser included second-degree murder 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, both with sentencing options from 3 to 25 years. A second-degree conspiracy count could bring 0 to 2 years maximum incarceration.

On Dec. 14, 2016, Judge Young denied Mr. McCoy’s argument to drop the case due to the previous trial and being prosecuted again for the same alleged crime.

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