Man freed from death row in Delaware arrested in Honolulu raid

WAIKIKI (HawaiiNewsNow) - One of the three men arrested in a large Honolulu police operation in McCully on Sunday was recently a death row inmate in Delaware.

Isaiah McCoy, 30, made national headlines when that state's highest court overturned his conviction and death sentence, citing prosecutorial misconduct.

A second trial resulted in McCoy being acquitted of the 2010 murder.

After being freed, McCoy moved to Hawaii.

His Delaware attorney, Herbert Mondros, told Hawaii News Now by phone that McCoy has family here. Mondros would not comment McCoy's arrest for an HPD traffic warrant because he has not been able to speak with his client.

McCoy was not the target of the police operation Sunday, but was in the apartment on Young Street near Punahou Street with the man who was, Jordan Smith. Smith, 18, is the accused gunman in a Waikiki triple shooting that killed one man.

McCoy and Smith are friends from Delaware.

After his acquittal on murder charges in Delaware, McCoy filed suit against the state, seeking compensation for his wrongful imprisonment.

Hawaii attorney Bill Harrison, of the Hawaii Innocence Project, said McCoy's connection to the Waikiki murder suspect should not affect the civil suit because he was only arrested on a traffic warrant and his arrest has nothing to do with McCoy's time on death row.

"That has no involvement and should not taint at all what happened to him," said Harrison.

However, Harrison said, if McCoy was his client he would advise him to take care of traffic tickets as soon as possible and avoid contact with people who attract police attention.

"You've been through the process already. You want to steer clear of that type of situation."

When McCoy was released in January, a Delaware reporter asked him how he felt to be released from death row.

"Glorious," he responded. "God delivered me. All my prayers have been answered. I cried to my lord for justice and he gave it to me."

While McCoy was exonerated for the 2012 murder, he does have a lengthy arrest record on the mainland: multiple robberies, burglaries, terroristic threatening and drug cases.

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