US Attorney Andrew Lelling announced today his office is charging Louis Coleman III of Providence for the murder of Jassy Correia, 23, of Dorchester. The decision to charge Coleman in federal court on a charge of kidnapping resulting in death means that Coleman could face the death sentence if found guilty.
At a press conference today, Lelling said it appears Correia died from "blunt-force trauma and strangulation."
He did not specify when she might have died, but said surveillance video showed Coleman carrying "a body" into his Providence apartment around 4 a.m. on Sunday, or about two hours after other video showed Correia and him getting into his red car a few blocks away from Venu in the Theater District. He added that credit-card data from Venu showed that Coleman had been in the club that night, as had Correia.
Lelling said it appears Correia put up a struggle: Coleman had scratches on his face when arrested on I-95 in Delaware and that his car had cracks on the front windshield on the passenger side.
He continued that before leaving Providence, Coleman went to a nearby Walmart and brought a variety of supplies that included duct tape, safety googles, breathing masks and an outfit of the sort one might wear during disposal of hazardous materials.
He said Coleman wrapped her body in a couch cover, put it in a plastic garbage bag, then put that in a suitcase, which he then hefted into the trunk of his car on Thursday.
Lelling said that, despite the initial charges, Correia's body - naked, bound with duct tape and covered in baking soda - was not mutilated. In addition to her body, Lelling said, police found supplies that might be used to cut and burn her body - and to clean up the remains.
He added that it makes sense for Coleman to be tried in Boston because the crime started here and because Correia's family and community deserve justice.
Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins said she supported the decision to have Coleman prosecuted federally. "Her family, Boston and our Cape Verdean community deserve the chance to see justice done in the city they call home." She added that the federal charges do not rule out her office bringing additional charges.