auto automobile blur buildings
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com
- Advertisement -

BOSTON (AP) — A Rhode Island man was found guilty Wednesday of abducting and killing a young mother celebrating her 23rd birthday at a Boston nightclub.

Louis Coleman III, 36, was convicted by a federal grand jury 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. He faces a mandatory sentence of life in prison.

Correia’s father thanked jurors for coming to the “correct and just decision.”

“A special thanks to the lawyers that had the courage and determination to present to the public and convince the jurors that no one is above the law,” Joaquim Correia, speaking through a translator, told reporters. Correia left behind a 2-year-old daughter.

Coleman 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 Tuesday.

Coleman 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.

“This crime was senseless and horrific and there is no question that today’s verdict is just,” said Joseph Bonavolonta, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Boston office. “No excuse can justify the savagery committed by this man who will face life behind bars.”

The defense said Correia 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.

The defense argued the encounter turned violent and Correia was the one who attacked Coleman. He “panicked” when Correia died, defense attorney Jane Peachy said in her closing argument.

“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,” defense attorney Peachy said.

- Advertisement -

The Associated Press

The Associated Press (AP) is an independent global news organization dedicated to factual reporting.