A jury is deliberating whether a man kidnapped a young Massachusetts mother outside a Boston nightclub in 2019, leading to her death.
Closing arguments were held Tuesday in the trial of Louis Coleman, accused of kidnapping leading to the death of Jassy Correia. If convicted, Coleman faces life in prison.
Prosecutors argued that Coleman sexually assaulted and strangled Correia before stashing her body in a suitcase in his trunk, where it was found four days later when he was stopped on Interstate 95 in Delaware.
They presented graphic evidence against Coleman, including video of him carrying Correia piggyback to his car after she was pushed out of an Uber that wasn't hers into the cold night. Prosecutors said Coleman took Correia to his apartment in Providence, Rhode Island, where he stuffed her body in a suitcase.
"She never arrived home, and the reason why is this defendant and his actions," Assistant U.S. Attorney Elianna Nuzum said during the trial. "He sexually assaulted her, strangled her to death and transported her across state lines. Then he tried to cover it up."
Coleman has pleaded not guilty to kidnapping Correia. His attorneys said the woman had attacked him and died in the car during the fight, but that Correia went with him willingly.
"What happened in that car was not a planned event and not initiated by Louis Coleman," his defense attorney, David Hoose, said in court during the trial.
"If they can create reasonable doubt that she wasn’t kidnapped and got to in the car voluntarily they hope the jury will follow that logic," NBC10 Boston legal analyst Michael Coyne said.
The trial was originally scheduled to start in February but was pushed to May because of the pandemic.