Rhode Island man convicted of kidnapping and killing Jassy Correia
A Rhode Island man charged with abducting and killing a young mother who had been celebrating her 23rd birthday at a Boston nightclub in 2019 was found guilty by a federal jury on Wednesday.
Louis Coleman III, 36, was convicted of kidnapping resulting in death in connection with the February 2019 death of Jassy Correia, the U.S attorney's office said in a statement.
The suspect lured Correia into his car by promising her a ride home, then sexually assaulted her and strangled her, Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Richardson told jurors in his closing statements on Tuesday.
“She was tricked into going with him and getting into the car. That was not valid consent,” he said.
He was captured on surveillance video dragging her body into his Providence apartment and then researched how to dispose of the body, prosecutors said.
Coleman, who has a master's degree in physics and worked as an engineer for a defense contractor, was stopped on Interstate 95 in Delaware days later with Correia’s body in a suitcase in the trunk. Authorities said she died from strangulation and blunt force trauma and Coleman's DNA was on her body.
The defense said Correia, who left behind a 2-year-old daughter, willingly got into Coleman's car after she was thrown out of a ride-hailing vehicle that was not hers, and engaged in consensual sex.
She was the aggressor in the car, defense attorney Jane Peachy said in closings. He “panicked” when Correia died.
“Part of the reason he didn’t think he could go to the police is he’s a Black man in America who had already been beaten once by police in San Diego,” Peachy said.