BOSTON (WPRI) — A Providence man charged in the kidnapping and death of a Boston woman made his first court appearance in Massachusetts on Monday.
Louis Coleman, 32, was arrested in Delaware late last month. He’s accused of kidnapping Jassy Correia, 23, who went missing early on the morning of Feb. 24 and was later found dead in the trunk of Coleman’s car, according to police.
Correia, who had a young daughter, was laid to rest in Dorchester over the weekend. Her family and friends were in court Monday for Coleman’s hearing.
“I would do anything and everything to make sure she gets justice, just as I did when she went missing. I put posters up, I called Fox, I did press, and I’m here today and I’m going to continue,” Victoria Maestre, the godmother of Correia’s daughter, said outside court.
Coleman faces a federal charge of kidnapping, resulting in death. He could face the death penalty or life in prison, should he be convicted.
While Massachusetts doesn’t have the death penalty for state cases, it’s still an option at the federal level.
“He needs to get the death penalty or he needs to rot because he took her life and it was uncalled for,” Correia’s friend Jessica Tyler said.
Coleman was handcuffed and wearing an orange prison jumpsuit as he was escorted into the courtroom.
The only time he spoke was to tell presiding Magistrate Judge M. Page Kelley that he had read through a copy of the complaints against him.
The purpose of the hearing was to make sure Coleman is aware of his rights and to discuss his counsel and detention. Coleman’s financial status made him eligible for court-appointed attorneys, the judge said.
One of the attorneys, Jane Peachy, said Coleman agreed to a voluntary order of detention, which could potentially be changed by requesting a hearing on the matter. He also waived his right to a preliminary hearing.
Coleman’s lawyers declined to comment on the proceedings, as did three of his supporters who were in court.
U.S. Attorney for the District of Massachusetts Andrew Lelling said investigators from Boston, Providence, and the FBI used surveillance video to piece together a timeline from when Correia was last seen alive outside a Boston nightclub to the discovery of her remains four days later. The footage allegedly showed Coleman carrying Correia into his condominium complex on Chestnut Street in Providence and in the days that followed, he’s seen bringing in supplies and a new suitcase.
Early Thursday morning, cameras captured Coleman leaving with a large suitcase and struggling to put it in the trunk of his car, according to Lelling. He was arrested during a traffic stop about twelve hours later.
Lelling said police found items in the car suggesting that Coleman planned to dispose of the body, including garbage bags, pliers, a butane lighter, and safety goggles.