BOSTON (WPRI) — The Providence man convicted in the kidnapping death of a Boston woman has filed an appeal with the U.S. First Circuit Court of Appeals.
Louis Coleman, 36, was found guilty in June of one count of kidnapping death resulting after a month-long trial. A jury held him responsible for the February 2019 death of 23-year-old Jassy Correia who was celebrating her birthday at a Boston nightclub when she vanished.
Her body was later discovered in the suitcase stuffed in the trunk of Coleman’s car in Delaware. Authorities said he was on the run and trying to hide his crimes.
On Thursday, defense attorneys filed a notice with the U.S. District court in Boston that Coleman was appealing “both his conviction and his sentence.”
Coleman received a mandatory life sentence without the possibility of parole.
An email to his attorneys was not immediately returned.
Prosecutors said Coleman brought Correia back to his Chestnut Street apartment in Providence the night she disappeared, where he was seen in surveillance footage carrying her limp body into the building. Correia was never seen leaving the building in the days that followed, but video did show Coleman leaving with a suitcase.
Prosecutors said Coleman bought various supplies, including bleach, trash bags, duct tape, goggles and a suitcase at Walmart.
Detectives were able to track Coleman’s car to Delaware, where he was stopped and taken into custody four days after Correia’s disappearance. Correia’s body was eventually found inside the suitcase in the trunk of Coleman’s car.
Prosecutors said Correia died of strangulation and suffered blunt force trauma to the head, torso, upper body and neck. Her autopsy also revealed that her BAC was three times the legal driving limit.
The defense argued that Correia went willingly with Coleman, and her death was the result of a fight she initiated in the car on their way to his apartment.
But the jury didn’t buy it, and convicted Coleman on one count of kidnapping resulting in death. That charge could have carried a death sentence, however, prosecutors decided against seeking the death penalty for Coleman last year.
Sarah Doiran contributed to this report