The tabloids have more coverage of this past weekend’s Clinton Street murder this morning. As we reported yesterday, suspect Raul Barrera did not enter a plea during an initial court appearance. He’s charged with 2nd degree murder in the butchering of his girlfriend, 23-year old Sarah Coit.
A former neighbor (on East 33rd Street), Colleen Carerir, told the Post she feared Barrera would end up killing Coit. “In January,” the story noted, “Carerir called cops one night ‘when I thought he was killing her… He had her in the bathtub, and it sounded like he was filling it with water,’ Carerir said. ‘I think he was strangling her. She was screaming a lot and coughing.’ Cops came, but did not arrest Barrera, she said.”
Barrera’s former boss, B.J. Coleman, called him a “charmer” who “spoke to a lot of women.” He worked in P.R. and “moonlighted as a personal trainer at a Manhattan gym — had a record of seven domestic violence incidents with two former girlfriends from 2001 to 2004.” Last week, Barrera apparently called Coleman, saying he was moving to the Lower East Side to be closer to his young son from a previous relationship. He told Coleman that Coit had “moved back to Connecticut.” Friends also said Coit had been struggling to break free of Barrera for some time:
Jessica Blum, Coit’s best friend since age 13, said she had been trying to help Coit break away from Barrera. She was happy to learn Coit had agreed to move out Sunday after weeks of putting it off. “Sarah was trying to get away,” said Blum, who called the 33-year-old Barrera a freeloader and said he took advantage of Coit for years. “He was awful. He gave you bad vibes instantly. He was horrible. He was controlling over her . . . He broke her computer when she wouldn’t let him use it. He would take her BlackBerry for a week at a time, saying she didn’t need to use it,” Blum said. She also said Barrera would send BlackBerry messages to Coit’s friends from her phone, pretending to be her and cutting them off. “He was an emotionally controlling person. It’s baffling that she stayed with him. She normally wouldn’t put up with that. He’s a real monster,” Blum said.
Another friend, Sophie Conti, said Coit gravitated towards “bad boys,” even back in their days at Greenwich High School. “She had a history of mildly abusive boyfriends,” she said. Conti told the Daily News, “She was a gorgeous girl. She was amazing. She was beautiful. I know people say it a lot and it sounds like a cliche, but she really was.”