As Theodore McCoy repeatedly stabbed his girlfriend’s 7-year-old son on a New Orleans street, the knife in his hand became lodged in the child’s head, The Times-Picayune reported. McCoy held on, lifting the boy off his feet, a witness said Wednesday during the trial. Stabbed 49 times with a black-handled steak knife, little Ishmael Combre died before the ambulance arrived the night of Sept. 26, 2002. Ishmael’s mother couldn’t be found to attend the trial.
McCoy, 51, stopped his trial at Orleans Parish Criminal District Court before the state even finished its side of the case, pleading guilty Wednesday to first-degree murder and receiving life in prison without chance for parole. He faced the death penalty if convicted in the trial. McCoy comes from a family plagued by psychotic mental illness, according to his attorneys, Clyde Merritt and Jeffrey Smith, and had received a diagnosis of schizophrenia. McCoy’s mother used a hatchet to behead her foster mother and later hanged herself inside a Louisiana mental institution. One brother is in a Florida institution for killing someone; another brother was found innocent by reason of insanity of murder in Orleans Parish and died in an East Feliciana Parish hospital. A sister was declared criminally insane and is committed to a hospital in California.