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Murder parolee back in court

Murder parolee back in court

Defandant, 15 at the time, was with trio when deliveryman was killed
Murder parolee back in court
Isaiah Curry, with attorney Brian Mercy, appears in court Friday.
Photographer: Steven Cook/Gazette Reporter

SCHENECTADY -- A man involved as a teenager in the notorous year 2000 Schenectady baseball bat killing of a pizza delivery man was back in court Friday after winning his appeal on a more recent burglary case.

Isaiah Curry, now 32, who served 11 years of a juvenile murder sentence in the 2000 case, was sent back to prison for 12 years in the 2013 burglary case involving an ex-girlfriend.

An appeals court over the summer, however, overturned his burglary conviction, finding that the trial judge should have allowed Curry to represent himself when he requested, even if it wasn't in his best interests. He will now have to be retried.

Curry appeared in court Friday and accepted the representation of attorney Brian Mercy for now and directed him to see if a plea agreement could be reached. Curry will remain in custody until his case is resolved.

The case is to return in two weeks.

In the 2013 incident, Curry took his ex-girlfriend's apartment key, ransacked her apartment and assaulted her, prosecutors said. Curry was convicted of multiple counts, including burglary and robbery.

Curry also faced more prison time from related violations of his state parole in the murder case. He is to remain supervised for the rest of his life under his juvenile murder plea in the 2000 killing of Hassan Noorzai. He received a 10-years-to-life sentence in that case. Curry was 15 at the time of the Noorzai killing.

Curry's murder case co-defendants, one of whom delivered the fatal blows, were both 16 at the time and are now serving sentences of 50 years to life. The three teens lured Noorzai to Yates Village by ordering pizza. The three made off with $15; Curry's cut was $5.

The state appellate court overturned his burglary conviction based on his request to represent himself. He told a judge at a pretrial appearance at the time, "I don't really  have much explanation for it, just like I've been making bad choices, why not continue."

That judge left the issue to the trial judge. Curry pressed the issue then, saying he didn't feel like his attorney was fighting for him, so he would fight for himself. Judge Felix Catena denied Currry's request. 

The appeals court, however, found that Curry demonstrated at trial that he knowingly waved his right to an attorney and should have been allowed to represent himself and the burglary case should be sent back for a new trial.

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