BOSTON (AP) — The case against a 32-year-old Providence man accused of kidnapping and killing a Boston woman has been halted due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to his defense.
Louis Coleman’s public defenders requested for the case to return in 45 days during a teleconference with a federal judge Tuesday.
“Since the coronavirus pandemic, a lot of our work in the case has stalled,” Jane Peachy, a lawyer for Coleman, told District Court Judge M. Page Kelley. “Most importantly, our ability to visit with Mr. Coleman in the jail has been put on hold,” which “hampers our progress significantly.”
Coleman, who faces the death penalty, was charged with kidnapping Jassy Correia, the mother of a 2-year-old girl, from outside a Boston nightclub where she had been celebrating her 23rd birthday in February 2019. He pleaded not guilty a month later.
Federal authorities allege Coleman was captured on surveillance video carrying her body into his Providence apartment.
Coleman was stopped in Delaware days after Correia’s disappearance. Her body was found in the trunk of his car by authorities.
Peachy asked that the status conference in the case be continued 45 days to July 7, a request the judge approved.
“Anything at all I can do to speed up that process, I’m happy to do it,” Kelley said. “I do think the case needs to move and not just be stalled out.”
Prosecutors in the case did not oppose the request.
The attorney said the defense team hopes to continue their mitigation work as things start to reopen in the state after weeks of closure of all nonessential services and businesses.
Coleman is charged with kidnapping resulting in death. He has been held without bail.