The godmother of the child of a 23-year-old mother from Massachusetts whose body was found dead in the trunk of a vehicle last month says she thinks the suspect deserves the death penalty.
Louis D. Coleman III, 32, of Providence, Rhode Island, made a brief appearance in federal court in Boston Monday to face charges in the kidnapping and death of 23-year-old Jassy Correia of Lynn.
The hearing was an initial appearance to formally address the charge. His public defender said Coleman has agreed to remain held without bail and waived his right to a preliminary hearing.
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If convicted, Coleman could face either life in prison or the death penalty. Prosecutors have not said whether they will seek the death penalty in the case.
The godmother of Correia's 2-year-old daughter was in court Monday and told NBC10 Boston she'd like to see Coleman get the death penalty.
"I'd rather him get the death penalty because he took Jassy's life," Jessica Tyler said.
Another friend, Victoria Maestre, said she's less sure.
"Yes and no," she said. "I would rather see him rot in jail with other people."
Coleman was led into court Monday in handcuffs and an orange prison jumpsuit. Correia's family, including her father, sat in the front row next to U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling.
Coleman's family was also present for the hearing.
Suffolk District Attorney Rachel Rollins attended the hearing, saying she was there out of respect to the family and because Coleman could face additional charges for crimes committed in the Boston area.
"Jassy is ours. She's from here, her family lives here, and we take this very seriously," she said.
Rollins would not comment on whether she thinks Coleman deserves the death penalty because that is up to the U.S. Attorney to decide.
Coleman has been charged in the death of Correia, who disappeared after celebrating her birthday at a downtown Boston nightclub on Feb. 24. Her body was found four days later in the trunk of Coleman's car after police stopped him in Delaware.
Her body was found wrapped in a sofa cushion cover, which was inside of a black trash bag inside a large suitcase that matched the one Coleman was observed bringing into his apartment three days after Correia's disappearance. Correia was found naked, with significant bruising and a bloodied face. She was bound with gray duct tape and covered in what is believed to be baking soda.
Correia's funeral was held Saturday at Saint Peter Parish in Boston. Prosecutors have said she died from strangulation and blunt force trauma.
Authorities said they believe Correia put up a fight, saying there were "definitely indications that she did not go quietly." They said the forward windshield of Coleman's vehicle was cracked in two locations on the passenger side, there was significant bruising on Correia's body, and there was a scratch on Coleman's face from Correia.
Authorities have said it does not appear that Correia knew Coleman, but there is still a lot left to learn.