Semen from Louis Coleman III was discovered on the body of Jassy Correia, the woman Coleman is accused of kidnapping leading to her death, an FBI forensic expert said in federal court in Boston on Wednesday.
The detail came as prosecutors closed their case after eight days of testimony. They presented a range of evidence, ranging from video footage showing how Coleman allegedly dragged Correia’s body from his Providence apartment to his online search history in the days after his disappearance. The Boston Herald reports.
Correia reportedly left a downtown nightclub with Coleman in February 2019, five days before police arrested him on Interstate 95 in Delaware with Correia’s body in his trunk. He faces a mandatory life sentence.
Earlier this week, Delaware State Troopers recalled that moment in court, describing how they discovered Correia’s body in a suitcase.
“I leaned over the plastic bag and felt like – it was like human remains,” one soldier said.
On Wednesday, the director of an FBI forensic laboratory testified that vaginal swab samples taken from Correia’s body detected what is most likely Coleman’s semen, according to the Herald.
The day before, FBI agents described online searches Coleman conducted in the days after the alleged abduction, including ‘Can a person fit in a suitcase’ and ‘How to pull a tooth that won’t get lost. (sic),” according to Boston 25 News.
But Coleman’s legal team argued that the evidence presented by the government had little or no relevance to the charge against Coleman.
“It’s not about whether he behaved well after his death, whether he did things that were illegal, inappropriate after that. And that, frankly, was where most of the evidence of the government has been filed,” attorney David Hoose said, according to the Herald. “I would say that none of these things are determinative of the elements of the abduction allegation.”
Authorities determined in 2019 that Correia died from strangulation and blunt trauma. But investigators have not shown evidence of when Correia was killed, according to Boston 25 News.
Hoose said the court should enter a judgment of acquittal – a motion denied by Judge Dennis Saylor IV, the Herald reports.
Saylor said there was evidence a reasonable jury could still use to convict Coleman. The newspaper reports that the judge moved for the jury to determine that Coleman drove Correia to his car that night for his own sexual pleasure.
Saylor added that since Coleman’s DNA was not found in Correia’s mouth, “a long romantic kissing interlude” probably didn’t happen before Correia’s DNA entered the scene. other parts of his body, depending on the Herald.
Before Coleman left Boston that night, the two were in the parked car for about 14 minutes — a period of time when there was most likely a chance there had been a confrontation between Correia and Coleman, a said Saylor.
Investigators later found cracks in the windshield, bruises and lacerations on Correia, and what were likely bite marks on Coleman’s forearm and face, according to the Herald.
Prosecutors said Coleman’s DNA was also found under Correia’s fingers.
The defense began to make its case by calling its own investigator to the stand to review the surveillance footage, the Herald reports. There’s a chance Coleman could testify on Friday, according to the newspaper.
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