Former death row inmate wants to represent himself in sex trafficking case

Former death row inmate wants to represent himself in sex trafficking case

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A former death row inmate who is accused of traveling to Hawaii with the intent to develop a major prostitution ring has asked to defend himself pro se in further court proceedings related to the case.

Public defenders for Isaiah McCoy filed a motion for withdrawal of counsel last week, citing a breakdown of the attorney-client relationship. Magistrate Judge Kenneth Mansfield would still need to approve the motion, which was filed in federal court.

McCoy has been charged with sex trafficking by force. A federal judge has already denied bail for the accused pimp, who federal prosecutors describe as violent and intimidating.

McCoy and his wife, Tawana Roberts, were arrested on Jan. 3 by police in an undercover prostitution sting at a Waikiki hotel. According to HPD documents obtained by Hawaii News Now, Roberts agreed to take $500 from an undercover officer in exchange for sex acts.

The day after the two were arrested by HPD, a federal grand jury indicted them in an expansive human trafficking case.

McCoy has been in Hawaii less than a year after he was released from Delaware's death row. He married Roberts, a food service specialist at Schofield Barracks, a few months ago.

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