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Rhode Island man sentenced to life in prison in kidnapping and death of 23-year-old Boston woman



BOSTON – A Rhode Island man was sentenced Tuesday concerning the death of a Massachusetts woman.

36-year-old Louis D. Coleman of Providence was sentenced by Judge F. Dennis Saylor IV to mandatory life in prison without parole concerning the kidnapping and killing of 23-year-old Jassy Correia of Boston.

Coleman was found guilty on June 1st by a federal grand jury.

Coleman was convicted following a jury trial on the federal charge of kidnapping resulting in death. Coleman was arrested and charged in March 2019 and was subsequently indicted by a federal grand jury in April 2019.

The defense had claimed that Correia went with Coleman willingly and died from a fight that she initiated, but the jury did not believe that claim.

“Jassy Correia was a vibrant and beautiful 22-year-old woman and mother of a toddler daughter. Louis Coleman, a total stranger to her, abducted her, raped her and strangled her to death. The pain and suffering Louis Coleman inflicted on Jassy Correia that night and her loving family – her mother, her father, her brother and so many others every single day since Feb. 24, 2019 – will never be relieved by this sentence. By his depravity and his horrific disregard for Ms. Correia’s life, Louis Coleman forfeited his right to live free in society,” said First Assistant United States Attorney Joshua S. Levy. “To this day, Louis Coleman has shown no remorse. After he lured 22-year-old Ms. Correia into his car, sexually assaulted her and violently killed her, Louis Coleman did not once consider turning himself in – rather he concocted a gruesome plan to conceal the assault and murder he just committed. Today’s sentence of life in prison is a just punishment. Our office is incredibly grateful for the courage of Jassy Correia’s family. I also want to commend the unprecedented cooperation demonstrated in this case by federal, state and local law enforcement partners across multiple states from the moment this investigation started.”

“This crime was gut-wrenching and there is no question today’s sentence is just. Louis Coleman took Jassy Correia’s life—a life full of promise, away from her. No sentence can bring solace to her family, and it cannot erase the harm he inflicted, but thanks to the tireless efforts of our Violent Crimes Task Force along with the Boston, Providence, and Delaware State Police Departments, we were able to remove this dangerous threat from our community so he can’t hurt anyone else,” said Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Division.

In the early morning hours of February 24, 2019, Correia went out with friends to a nightclub in downtown Boston to celebrate her upcoming birthday. Just after 2 a.m., Correia became separated from her friends and tried to get a ride home from an Uber XL driver who was idling out front of the nightclub. The driver was waiting for a larger group and pushed Correia out of the car, and she stumbled onto the sidewalk. Seconds later, video surveillance captured Coleman approach the victim – who was alone, intoxicated, barefoot, and without a winter coat – and take both of her hands. Coleman offered Correia a ride back to her friend’s apartment.

After getting into the vehicle with Correia, video surveillance showed Coleman make a series of short turns before pulling over, just a few blocks from where he had originally parked, for approximately 12 minutes. Coleman then began driving south to his apartment in Providence.

Surveillance footage from Coleman’s Providence apartment building showed Coleman, at about 4:15 a.m. on Sunday, Feb. 24, 2019, parking and exiting the vehicle, and then returning a short time later carrying a blanket. He then walked from the car to the front of the building carrying the victim’s body slung over his shoulder. Once he entered the building, surveillance video showed Coleman dropping the victim on the floor and dragging her towards the elevator, and subsequently towards his apartment.

In the days that followed, Coleman visited two car washes and his internet search history reveled he Googled things such as “how to pull a tooth out that’s not loose;” “can a person fit inside a suitcase;” “buy dumpster;” “oil barrel;” “how to clean for embalming;” “turkey baster;” and “target sanitizing bleach.” In addition, Coleman purchased a $150 air purifier, three 12-lb bags of baking soda, duct tape, 50-gallon trash bags, personal protective equipment including full-body coveralls, an odor respirator, protective masks, safety goggles, a 600-lb rated dolly, three Tyvek suits and a large suitcase.

At 1:15 a.m., on Feb. 28, 2019, Coleman wheeled a suitcase containing the victim’s body out of his apartment and into the parking lot where his vehicle was parked. Coleman appeared to have difficulty lifting the suitcase into the trunk of his car, before driving away at 4 a.m.

On the afternoon of February 28, 2019, Coleman’s vehicle was stopped by Delaware authorities on I-95 South near Wilmington, Del. Officers ordered Coleman out of the vehicle and asked him if anyone else was in the vehicle with him, to which Coleman said, “She’s in the trunk.”

Officers discovered the victim’s body in the trunk of Coleman’s vehicle, bound with duct tape and in the fetal position inside a sofa cushion cover, which was inside of a black trash bag, stuffed inside the suitcase Coleman was seen bringing into his apartment on Feb. 27, 2019. A duffle bag, a pair of new long-handled loppers, plastic garbage bags, clothing, a red plastic gas container, a green butane lighter, black gloves, charcoal air purifiers, air fresheners, tinted safety glasses, plastic Walmart bags, work towels, cloth work-gloves, a new set of DeWalt pliers, a laptop, the computer hard-drive/tower he used to conduct his Google searches and disinfectant wipes were also recovered in Coleman’s vehicle. Two large cracks in the windshield on the passenger side were found to contain both Coleman and Correia’s DNA.

The victim had significant bruising, a bloodied face, was bound with gray duct tape and was covered in baking soda. The medical examiner determined cause of death to be strangulation and found evidence consistent with a sexual assault.

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