A Rhode Island man who kidnapped and killed a young Massachusetts mother who was out with friends celebrating her birthday in 2019 was sentenced in federal court Tuesday.
Louis D. Coleman III was sentenced to life in prison today for the kidnapping and killing of Jassy Correia.
Coleman, 36, of Providence, R.I., was sentenced by U.S. Chief District Court Judge F. Dennis Saylor IV to life in prison without the possibility of parole. On June 1, 2022, Coleman was convicted by federal jury in Boston of the federal charge of kidnapping resulting in death.
“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 Feb. 24, 2019, Ms. Correia went out with friends to a nightclub in downtown Boston to celebrate her upcoming birthday. Just after 2 a.m., Ms. Correia became separated from her friends and tried to get a ride home from an Uber driver who was idling in front of the nightclub. The driver was waiting for a larger group and refused to give Ms. Correia a ride. Seconds later, video surveillance captured Coleman approach Ms. Correia. According to evidence presented at trial, Coleman tricked Ms. Correia into believing he would give her a ride back to her friend’s apartment.
After getting into the vehicle with Ms. 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 Ms. Correia’s lifeless body over his shoulder. Once he entered the building, surveillance video showed Coleman 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 that 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, 36 pounds 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 struggled to lift the suitcase containing Ms. Correia’s body into the trunk of his car, before driving away at 4 a.m.
On the afternoon of Feb. 28, 2019, Coleman’s vehicle was stopped by Delaware authorities on Interstate 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 replied, “She’s in the trunk.”
Officers discovered the Ms. Correia’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. Police also recovered 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 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 from the vehicle.
Additionally, two large cracks in the windshield on the passenger side were later found to contain both Coleman and Ms. Correia’s DNA.
Ms. Correia had significant bruising, a bloodied face, was bound with gray duct tape and was covered in baking soda. According to evidence and testimony presented at trial, the medical examiner determined the cause of death to be strangulation and that there was evidence consistent with a sexual assault.
First Assistant U.S. Attorney Levy; FBI Boston SAC Bonavolonta; Boston Police Commissioner Michael Cox; Douglas Bartlett, Acting U.S. Marshal for the District of Massachusetts; Suffolk County District Attorney Kevin Hayden; Colonel Melissa A. Zebley of the Delaware State Police; and Providence Police Chief Hugh T. Clements Jr. made the announcement today. The U.S. Attorney’s Office acknowledges the cooperation and assistance of the Rhode Island Attorney General’s Office, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Delaware and the Massachusetts State Police. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kenneth G. Shine, Robert Richardson and Elianna Nuzum of the Major Crimes Unit prosecuted the case.