A man now off Ohio’s death row after more than 20 years because his conviction was tossed is back in court and likely facing deportation to his native Jordan.

Forty-nine-year-old Ahmad Fawzi Issa (AH’-mahd FOW’-zee EE’-sah) pleaded not guilty to aggravated murder Thursday in Hamilton County and will remain jailed without bond pending resolution of his case. Attorneys say they’re trying to work out an agreement to avoid a retrial and that Issa awaits federal immigration action.

He was convicted in 1998 and sentenced for allegedly arranging the 1997 slaying of a Cincinnati convenience store owner.

A federal appeals court last year threw out his conviction, ruling that his constitutional right to confront witnesses against him was violated and that hearsay testimony was used to convict him.

Another hearing is set for July 18.

Tags: Categories: U.S.