Louis Coleman found guilty in kidnapping death of Jassy Correia

·3 min read

A federal jury on Wednesday found Louis Coleman guilty in the 2019 kidnapping death of Jassy Correia.

Correia’s body was found stuffed in a suitcase in the back of Coleman’s car in Delaware. Federal prosecutors said he kidnapped Correia outside a Boston nightclub during the early morning hours of Feb. 24, 2019, and killed her.

Right after the guilty verdict was read, there was a loud gasp, followed by an emotional outburst as family embraced each other, relieved to get the justice they say they have been waiting for for three years.

Jassy Correia’s father Joaquim Correia was visibly emotional as he thanked everyone who has helped convict his daughter’s killer.

“Jassy is no longer here, but she has a family,” said Correia.

Prosecutors spent several weeks, including a COVID break, proving Coleman tricked Correia into getting into his car and sexually assaulted her. Correia’s body was found stuffed in a suitcase in Coleman’s car four days after she went missing.

First Assistant US Attorney Joshua Levy commended the family for their strength. He and US Attorney Rachel Rollins were often in the courtroom throughout the trial.

“Answering their questions, explaining what was coming up. Giving them a shoulder to cry on. We are all in this as prosecutors. The cases that motivate us are the ones with victims and people we can help,” said Levy.

Coleman’s defense team tried to prove there was no kidnapping, claiming Correia voluntarily went with Coleman and then it turned into a violent struggle that led to her death. Federal Public Defender Jane Peachy told us Coleman is a young man with a good family.

“There is nothing in his history that indicated that he would have done anything like this,” said Peachy.

Correia’s father sat in court every single day.

“This is a promise I made to myself since the beginning up to the end because I was the one who brought Jassy to the United States when she was 3 years old,” said Correia.

The Correias are thankful the jury gave them justice, but they will never stop missing Jassy.

“I feel sad because because even with all this structure I have and justice has been made, I don’t have my daughter back,” said Correia.

Coleman enticed Correia, lured her into his car, held her against her will, crossed state lines into Rhode Island and knowingly and willfully caused her death, prosecutors stated during the nearly monthlong jury trial.

The defense team showed video of Correia getting on Coleman’s back after they left the club, arguing that there was no kidnapping and that one has to be a willing participant to accept a piggy back ride. They also made several motions to declare a mistrial.

“Yes, she is dead and Mr. Coleman is responsible. We have not denied that, but he did not kidnap her,” Coleman’s lawyer told the jury.

Among the defense team’s claims were a consensual sexual encounter between the two turned violent, and that Correia was using cocaine and alcohol and could be seen acting aggressively all night. But prosecutors pointed to evidence like damage to the inside of the passenger’s side window of the car and Coleman’s injuries as indicators that Correia was fighting for her life while being strangled to death.

Coleman faces up to life in prison when he is slated to return to court for sentencing on Sept. 22.

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