Prosecutors will seek death penalty again in death row inmate's retrial

Prosecutors will seek death penalty again in death row inmate's retrial
Robert McCoy was sentenced to death in 2012 for murdering his estranged wife's family. (Source: Bossier Parish Sheriff's Office)
Marvin Schuyler, D.A. (Source: Jeff Ferrell/KSLA News 12)
Marvin Schuyler, D.A. (Source: Jeff Ferrell/KSLA News 12)
Larry English (Source: AirRail.us/about)
Larry English (Source: AirRail.us/about)

BOSSIER PARISH, LA (KSLA) - Prosecutors will once again seek the death penalty against Robert McCoy after spending the last 6 years on Louisiana's death row, according to Bossier-Webster District Attorney Schuyler Marvin.

It follows the 6-3 vote by the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday, which ruled McCoy will get a new trial.

McCoy has consistently denied killing his estranged wife's mother, stepfather and son in Bossier City back in 2008.  But according to McCoy's defense attorney, he needed help.

"I genuinely believed that Robert McCoy was incapable of making decisions about a life and death," explained McCoy's trial lawyer Larry English.

English said McCoy insisted this case was actually a big conspiracy against him by the FBI, drug dealers and even a U.S. senator, among others.

"Robert McCoy, in my opinion, had severe mental issues," added English.

But with McCoy ruled competent to stand trial, English said he told the jury that McCoy was guilty, trying to spare him from a death sentence, despite McCoy's objections.

But the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that English's actions violated McCoy's 6th amendment rights and he deserves a new trial.

"I would have probably done somewhere close to the same thing that Larry English did," said Bossier-Webster District Attorney Schuyler Marvin.

Only, Marvin said he might have put his defense plan on paper and then had McCoy signed it for documentation.

And Marvin told KSLA News 12 he doesn't fault English for the retrial. "No, I mean he didn't, he, what's he going to do? I mean, the evidence that we had was so overwhelming."

Marvin said English was in a very difficult spot as McCoy's defense attorney.

"You couldn't sit there with a straight face if you had to present that to a 12 person jury and say, as the lawyer, believe me, I'm telling you the truth. The D.A. over there is not. You couldn't do that. I don't care if you have 12 lawyers in there it wouldn't work."

The D.A. also described how, from his perspective, they did everything possible on their end in trying to avoid a retrial saying, "Most of the higher courts have said the fact that I filed not once, not twice but three different motions to determine Mr. McCoy's relationship with his lawyer, to determine if this is going to be his lawyer."

He estimated this new capital murder trial against McCoy will cost about $25,000.

Marvin also told us they're hoping to get the earliest date possible for the retrial, describing it as an open and shut case.

The crime happened in 2008, when McCoy's estranged wife's mother, Christine Colston-Young, stepfather Willie Young, and her son Greg Colston were all shot in the head in their Bossier City home.

Mike Halphen, who was the Bossier City Police Chief at the time, said that McCoy was angry with his estranged wife and just went into the home and started shooting. "You could see there had been a struggle, they had tried to get away," said Halphen.

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