Friday, March 19, 2004 | 11:17 a.m.
The man suspected in two dozen sniper shootings in Ohio will be taken back to that state after he declined to fight his extradition in a hearing this morning before a Las Vegas judge.
Charles McCoy Jr., 28, told Justice of the Peace Douglas Smith that he agreed to be taken back to Ohio, where he will face a single charge of felony assault. Before the hearing, McCoy had signed a document waiving his right to fight extradition.
Smith said Ohio authorities would have 30 days to take care of McCoy, although he is expected to be moved much sooner. McCoy could be sent to Ohio as soon as tonight, the Associated Press reported his attorney as saying. Officials in Ohio and Nevada would not release any details, citing security concerns.
Because of the nature of the charge, Smith ordered McCoy to be held at the Clark County Detention Center without bail in the interim.
"You held a community at bay, basically at hostage. You terrorized a city and a state," Smith said.
After being named a suspect early this week, McCoy was arrested Wednesday morning at the Budget Suites hotel near the Stardust.
A gun he owned reportedly has been linked to some of the shootings. Detectives from Ohio spoke with him after his arrest and are still putting the case together. He is the only named suspect.
McCoy's hearing lasted less than 10 minutes. It was his first court appearance since his arrest. Police said he was in town for a day and a half before he was caught.
This morning a shackled McCoy dressed in blue jail garb held his head down as he entered the courtroom, which was packed with nearly a dozen news cameras, several still photographers and reporters and local detectives who had worked on the case.
McCoy, flanked by four uniformed guards, spoke with local attorney Deputy Public Defender Curtis Brown for several minutes before the hearing.
McCoy has a lawyer in Ohio. Brown was not appointed to the case but the Ohio attorney, Andrew Haney, asked Brown to come to court and advise McCoy, Smith said.
McCoy answered only "yes" to a series of questions asked by the judge.
In a statement earlier this week Haney said McCoy wanted to return to Ohio "at the government's earliest possible convenience."
Metro Capt. Henry Hoogland at the Clark County Detention Center said this morning that no immediate plans have been made for McCoy's transport back to Ohio.
Ohio authorities will make those arrangements and local authorities have nothing to do with the plans, he said.
"We'll have him (McCoy) waiting for them when they get here," Hoogland said.
Local authorities arrested McCoy Wednesday on an Ohio arrest warrant charging him with felonious assault.
The shootings began in May and the last one was Feb. 14. The assault charge relates to a Dec. 15 shooting that damaged a house near Interstate 270 in Columbus.
The arrest came after a local man, 60-year-old Conrad Malsom, spotted someone he thought was McCoy at the Stardust sports book around noon on Wednesday. Malsom then went searching for McCoy and late Wednesday evening found a car at the Budget Suites he believed to be McCoy's.
Police then went to the hotel, where McCoy was registered under his own name, and waited for his return. When he came back about 2:45 a.m. he was arrested without incident.