Raul Barrera Arraigned in Lower East Side Stabbing Death of 23-Year-Old Sarah Coit


Update after the jump: Raul Barrera indicted for the murder.

There have been some updates in the story of the brutal murder that took place early Sunday at 63 Clinton Street, in which 33-year-old Raul Barrera stabbed his girlfriend, Sarah Coit, 23, to death after she tried to break up with him. According to DNA Info, Barrera’s confession that he “did something bad” at an East Village precinct was what finally led cops to Coit, who later died at Beth Israel. Witnesses had reported screams but “were unable to pinpoint where they were coming from because they echoed in the courtyard behind her apartment.”

Barrera had been heading to Penn Station, ostensibly to flee, after the incident but talked to his father who convinced him to turn himself in, said the D.A. at today’s arraignment. Barrera’s attorney described his client as “upset” and “remorseful,” and has asked to have him put on suicide watch. Coit had been attacked “so brutally that her skull was caved in and her internal organs spilled out of her body.”

A previous instance of violence has come out in which Barrera pleaded guilty to striking Brenden Lighty in the face with a bottle in Murray Hill in March 2010. Lighty sustained cuts and bruises. Meanwhile, one acquaintance of Barrera, who worked in PR, said that he couldn’t understand what had happened, and called him “personable” and a “very good friend.”

According to the Wall Street Journal, Coit’s parents had planned to visit from Greenwich, Connecticut, to help their daughter move out on Sunday.

Cops found eight additional knives in the apartment, according to Police Commissioner Ray Kelly. Barrera will next be in court on Friday.

Update, May 12:
Barrera was indicted today on murder charges, according to the New York Post. Manhattan D.A. Cy Vance urged other victims of domestic abuse to speak out against their attackers and to “break the cycle of silence.” According to court documents, upon turning himself in, Barrera said, “Yeah, I hit her in the back. There was a lot of blood.”

New York legislators have advocated a bill that would create an online database revealing the names of convicted domestic abusers, much like a sex-offender registry.

Originally posted on April 11.

Man Charged in Lower East Side Murder Has Violent Past [DNA Info]