After closing arguments, Jasiel Correia case now in jury’s hands

SE Mass

BOSTON (WPRI) — The criminal trial of Fall River’s former mayor is now in the hands of the jury.

Since the jury instructions ran so late, the panel decided to begin deliberations Tuesday morning.

Jurors now have to consider the two dozen counts lodged against 29-year-old Jasiel Correia.

Correia showed no emotion as he arrived Monday morning at the federal courthouse in Boston. He told 12 News reporter Erica Ricci he believes his defense team was “excellent” in handling his case.

However, when Target 12 Investigator Steph Machado ran into Correia in the hallway and asked him how he was doing, he replied: “I’ve had better days.”

Both the prosecution and defense presented their closing arguments on Monday.

Assistant Attorney General Zack Hafer brought jurors back to his opening statement where he promised to present overwhelming evidence of  “lying, cheating, stealing and shakedowns.” He said the past two weeks of testimony have delivered on that promise.

“Marijuana vendor after marijuana vendor dramatically described old school, pay-to-play political corruption where the defendant shook them down,” he said.

The defense began by thanking the jury for their commitment to the trial and commending them for their service, even though the judge announced Monday he dismissed one juror for undisclosed reasons.

Defense attorney Kevin Reddington then proceeded to cast doubt on the “intent” of the prosecution’s argument. Once he is done, the jury will receive instructions from the judge before beginning deliberations.

Opening statements were two weeks ago and in nine days of testimony, jurors heard from 36 witnesses. Only three took the stand for the defense, and Correia himself was not one of them.

12 News reached out to Reddington to ask why he didn’t call Correia to the stand, but he declined to comment.

Witnesses ranged from Correia’s college friends to investors in his tech app SnoOwl to marijuana vendors he allegedly extorted as mayor.

The jury also heard from Correia’s ex-girlfriend, who prosecutors say was the recipient of gifts and travel the former mayor paid for with stolen funds.

Correia is accused of defrauding those SnoOwl investors, spending their money on a “lavish lifestyle” including strip clubs, casinos, designer clothes, and a Mercedes Benz.

The jury will take all they’ve heard and begin deciding Correia’s fate after closing arguments — a verdict current Fall River Mayor Paul Coogan says will help the city.

“I’m glad there’s closing arguments on Monday. This has been something that has hung over the city for a long time,” he said. “It’s going to come to a resolution next week and hopefully the city can move on to more positive things.”

Correia is facing more than two dozen federal charges related to fraud, extortion and bribery. He has pleaded not guilty to all of those charges.

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