Ex-death row inmate who beat sex trafficking case arrested

This undated booking photo provided by the Hawaii Department of Public Safety shows Isaiah McCoy. McCoy, an ex-death row inmate, was arrested a day after a judge ordered his release from federal custody when prosecutors dropped sex trafficking charges against him. McCoy was arrested Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2018, at the Honolulu airport on a traffic warrant. On Tuesday, prosecutors dismissed allegations he forced, threatened and coerced women into prostitution in Hawaii. (Hawaii Department of Public Safety via AP)

HONOLULU (AP) — A day after Isaiah McCoy, a former death row inmate from Delaware, walked out of a U.S. courthouse in Hawaii a free man when prosecutors dropped sex trafficking charges against him, he found himself again in handcuffs.

A judge ordered McCoy’s release Tuesday after prosecutors moved to dismiss a 10-count indictment against him. Allegations included that he forced, threatened and coerced women into prostitution in Hawaii. McCoy had been held without bail in the Honolulu Federal Detention Center since January.

On Wednesday, he tried to travel to Philadelphia to attend an event organized by Witness to Innocence, an anti-death penalty nonprofit. Authorities didn’t return his ID when he was released, but he planned to be able to prove his identity to airport security workers, he said. While verifying his identity, they found a warrant, he said.

Sheriffs arrested McCoy on an outstanding traffic warrant, state Department of Public Safety spokeswoman Toni Schwartz said. He posted $200 bail and was released.

“They put me in handcuffs and marched me through the airport,” McCoy said.

McCoy said authorities gave him back a duffel bag of his clothes after his release Tuesday, but not his ID and other belongings including cash and phones. He said he and a lawyer tried to ask the U.S. attorney’s office to help verify his identity so he could travel.

A spokeswoman for the office wouldn’t confirm or deny information about McCoy’s ID or attempts to help verify his identity.

McCoy said he went to Honolulu police headquarters Thursday to see if they had his ID because it was officers from the department who arrested him in January. Police spokeswoman Michelle Yu said his ID was among the items officers took into evidence, but the department turned it over to federal authorities.

Less than a year before his Hawaii arrest, McCoy was released from death row in Delaware. A jury found him guilty of murder in Delaware, and he was sentenced to death. Five years later, he was released after a judge found him not guilty of murder during a retrial.

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