BOSTON — While Louis Coleman III sits in jail without bail, prosecutors are deciding whether he should pay for the kidnapping murder of Jassy Correia with his life.
The U.S. Attorney’s office in Boston says there was still no official decision from prosecutors on whether to give Coleman the death penalty or not, but its possible one could be made soon.
Since Coleman will be tried in federal court, former federal prosecutor Brad Bailey also says the circumstances of the case clearly put Coleman in the federal death penalty’s path.
“Clearly, at least in terms of the allegations in this case, she was transported across state lines which makes it a federal kidnapping case, and the fact that there’s a homicide, the kidnap allegedly resulted in a homicide makes it a death penalty eligible case,” said Bailey.
Coleman was found guilty of kidnapping and murdering 23-year-old Jassy Correia after her body was found stuffed inside a suitcase in the trunk of his car during a traffic stop in Delaware.
Correia was reported missing on Feb. 26 after a night out with friends in Boston to celebrate her birthday. After getting separated from friends, Correia was last seen alive getting into the car of a strange man, who would later be identified as her killer.
Federal prosecutors allege Coleman picked up Correia in Boston’s Theatre District and violently assaulted her. Surveillance cameras allegedly recorded Coleman carrying her lifeless body into his Providence, Rhode Island apartment, but only leaving hours later with heavy suitcases.
Prosecutors are first reviewing all the evidence and talking to Coleman’s legal team in their decision to seek the death penalty or not. The final decision will come from federal officials in Washington.
According to Bailey, the lengthy process is an important safeguard in these types of cases.
“The death penalty is the absolute ultimate penalty in any given case, so a decision to go after it and invoke it, is not taken lightly,” said Bailey.
In March, a pre-trial conference in the case will be held in federal court in Boston. By then, it’s possible a decision could have been made on whether to seek the death penalty for Coleman.
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