New Details Emerge in Clinton Street Murder

More details this morning about the gruesome murder at 63 Clinton Street late Saturday night. 33-year old Raul Barrera will have his first court appearance today. He faces 2nd degree murder charges in the brutal killing of Sarah Coit, his 23-year old girlfriend.

Police say Barrera stabbed Coit repeatedly with a kitchen knife after an argument about her decision to leave him.  They indicated Barrera fled the apartment but showed up at the 9th Precinct less than a half hour later, telling officers, “I did something bad.”  He was transferred to the 7th Precinct, which has jurisdiction for the area below Houston Street.

The Post reports: “(Barrera) allegedly told cops that he and Coit had fought about breaking up, and claimed that it was she who had first grabbed the knife before he wrested it away. A police source said Coit had initiated the split.” A police source also told the Post “cops were called to the couple’s apartment Jan. 8 because of a shouting match. When the couple lived on East 33rd St., Barrera was arrested for assault on a male friend.”

Police worked into the night at 63 Clinton, a tenement building that includes two restaurants on the ground floor (Cube 63 and Fatta Cuckoo).  They were seen gathering evidence, placing items in large brown bags.

Yesterday afternoon, the Times reported, “more than a half-dozen detectives walked up and down the block, past a pawn shop, a furniture store and two restaurants on the ground floor of 63 Clinton Street. Some of the detectives appeared to be looking for surveillance cameras from nearby buildings.”

When officers first arrived early Sunday morning (2:36 a.m.), they found Coit face down in the living room of apartment #6, with multiple stab wounds to the neck. Several witnesses said they heard screams and Coit’s cries for help but they weren’t sure which apartment the sounds were coming from.

Sarah Coit was from Riverside, Connecticut (a neighborhood in Greenwich) and had attended Hunter College up until about a year ago, studying marketing and advertising. She was working at the Lacoste store near Rockefeller Center. “She was a bright, young, wonderful girl. She had a bright future ahead of her,” an acquaintance told the Post. “She has the most wonderful family you could imagine.” The victim’s father, Lynde Coit, is a prominent financial adviser. She has two brothers.

According to his linkedin profile, Barrera is the sponsorship development director for the Gotham Screen International Festival. Previously, he worked in public relations at Propaganda NY and the Coleman Entertainment Group. Barrera has a Bechelor of Arts from the University of Central Florida.

See local television coverage below: