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Mistrial Declared for Providence Man Charged With Murder


FALL RIVER — Jurors failed to reach a verdict in a high-profile New Bedford murder case, prompting the judge to declare a mistrial.

Superior Court Judge Rafi Yessayan declared the mistrial Monday afternoon in Fall River Superior Court, after several failed attempts to break a deadlocked jury in the case against Sayyid Coggins, who is charged with murder and arson in the death of 29-year-old Justin Downey of New Bedford.

Downey’s body was found April 15, 2014, after firefighters extinguished a blaze at his 55 Rounds Street home in the city’s West End.

After an investigation by state and local police, an arrest warrant was issued for Coggins, who was living in Providence, R.I., at the time of Downey’s slaying. Coggins was arrested six days later by U.S. Marshals in Stone Mountain, Georgia, and was indicted by a grand jury in April of 2015.

Coggins’ defense attorney, Frank Camera, predicted the same outcome. “They had no evidence, no witnesses and no motive,” he said.

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