The trial of a man accused of kidnapping a young mother outside a Boston nightclub three years ago, leading to her death, was opening Tuesday at the city's federal court.
The family of Jassy Correia filed into the courtroom ahead of opening statements in the case. Louis Coleman III, a 35-year-old from Rhode Island, is charged with kidnapping resulting in death; he's pleaded not guilty.
"We're just going to wait for the justice," Jassy's brother, Joel Correia, said outside Moakley Federal Courthouse Tuesday.
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Jury selection began last week and continued through Tuesday morning.
Correia, who was from Lynn and had a young girl, was celebrating her 23rd birthday in February 2019 when she was allegedly kidnapped outside Venu Nightclub in Boston.
"She was my only sister I've got, I don't have anyone left, so I'm going to the end and fighting for her," Joel Correia said Tuesday.
Police said Coleman was seen on surveillance video carrying Correia's limp body into his Providence apartment about two hours later.
Coleman was stopped on Interstate 95 in Delaware four days later with Correia's body in the trunk. Authorities said she died from strangulation and blunt force trauma.
Prosecutors plan to present graphic evidence against Coleman at the trial, 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, The Boston Globe reported Sunday, citing court records.
"She never arrived home, and the reason why is this defendant and his actions," Assistant U.S. Attorney Elianna Nuzum told members of the jury Tuesday. "He sexually assaulted her, strangled her to death and transported her across state lines. Then he tried to cover it up."
The defense argued Tuesday that Correia was the one who became aggressive.
"What happened in that car was not a planned event and not initiated by Louis Coleman," his defense attorney, David Hoose, said in court.
"[Prosecutors] don't have to show that he actually murdered her, only that the kidnapping, at the end of the day, resulted in the death," said NBC10 Boston legal analyst Michael Coyne.
What Coleman allegedly did after Correia's death, Coyne said, shows he had something to hide. He is accused of Googling how to pull teeth and how to fit a person inside a suitcase.
The charge of kidnapping resulting in death carries a sentence of either death or life in prison, but federal prosecutors said last year that they will not seek the death penalty against Coleman. An attorney for Coleman said at the time he was "pleased" with the decision.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.