Man Indicted for Murder and Arson Connected to 2014

District Attorney Tom Quinn announced today that a Bristol County Grand Jury has indicted Sayyid Coggins on charges connected to the April 15, 2014 death of 29-year-old Justin Downey in New Bedford.

Mr. Coggins, 37, who was residing in providence, RI at the time of the incident, was indicted late Friday afternoon on charges of murder and arson in a dwelling. The defendant, who had previously been charged as an accessory to murder is currently being detained at the Bristol County House of Corrections and will be arraigned on the new indictments in Fall River Superior Court on a later date.

On April 15, 2014, the New Bedford Fire Department responded to 911 calls regarding a fire at Mr. Downey’s 55 Rounds Street home. After extinguishing the blaze, fire fighters located Mr. Downey’s burned body in the home. After an extensive week-long investigation conducted by New Bedford Police, Massachusetts State Police detectives assigned to this office and homicide unit prosecutors, an arrest warrant was issued for Mr. Coggins in connection to the death. He was apprehended on April 21, 2014, by U.S. Marshals in Stone Mountain, Georgia.

The case was presented to the grand jury and will be prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Katie Rayburn, Deputy Chief of the Homicide Unit at the Bristol County District Attorney’s Office.

More information on the facts of the case will be detailed during Mr. Coggins’ superior court arraignment. This office is prohibited from commenting further about facts in the case until his arraignment in open court.


Gregg Miliote
Director of Communications