BOSTON, (WPRI) – The murder and kidnapping trial of a Providence man who allegedly put the body of his victim he met outside a Boston nightclub in a suitcase, has been delayed.

Louis Coleman is charged with “kidnapping resulting in death” in the 2019 slaying of Jassy Correia. His trial was supposed to start at the end of February, but U.S. District Chief Judge Dennis Saylor was forced to delay it for months “due to the surge in the pandemic.”

A new trial has been set for the spring, with opening arguments potentially set for May 9.

The hearing was held remotely Wednesday morning, and Coleman appeared via Zoom from the Wyatt Detention Center in Central Falls, where he has been held since his arrest in March 2019.

Coleman’s attorney Jane Peachy told the judge there have been roadblocks in their defense because they have not been able to see visit their client at the Wyatt.

“There is a pretty terrible outbreak of COVID at Wyatt, so our in-person visits have been suspended,” Peachy said.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Richardson estimated it would take the government about 12 days to present their case and would want to coordinate with Correia’s family, who wants to attend the criminal trial.

“There are two of the victim’s family members, including the mother, who will be travelling from Cape Verde,” Richardson said. “As many family members as can be will be in the courtroom, and we have important witnesses from Delaware and D.C. area so I think putting it in May should work assuming we don’t get hit with another variant.”

Peachy estimated the defense to take roughly three days, and said Coleman’s family – who lives in California – plans on attending the trial at federal court in Boston.

The charge of kidnapping resulting in death comes with the potential of the death penalty, but in November prosecutors announced they would not be seeking capital punishment. Had they pursued the death penalty, the trial would have taken considerably longer.

Coleman is accused of abducting Correia, who was celebrating her 23rd birthday, outside a Boston nightclub and bringing her to his Providence apartment.

Surveillance video showed Coleman carrying “a body with long hair and orange pants” that was “naked from the waist up” into his apartment building at 95 Chestnut St., according to a federal complaint.

Coleman was later seen leaving the building with a suitcase and eventually captured in Delaware with Correia’s body in the trunk of his car.

He has pleaded not guilty.

Tim White (twhite@wpri.com) is the Target 12 managing editor and chief investigative reporter at 12 News, and the host of Newsmakers. Connect with him on Twitter and Facebook.

Steph Machado (smachado@wpri.com) is a Target 12 investigative reporter covering Providence, politics and more for 12 News. Connect with her on Twitter and on Facebook.