Three men linked to the case of a slain 19-year-old woman in Braintree last year are on their way to being returned to face charges in Massachusetts courts.
Jason McLeod, 35, of Mattapan agreed to be brought from York, Maine, back to Norfolk Superior Court, where he will go before a judge Friday to answer charges of human trafficking and deriving support for prostitution, according to a spokeswoman for Norfolk District Attorney Michael Morrissey.
McLeod had dated 19-year-old Reina Rodriguez and booked a room at the Hyatt Place Hotel for her the night she was killed, according to police. That night, Juana Rivera — another 19-year-old, who had recruited Rodriguez for sex work but had been angry once she started dating McLeod — along with Kentavious Coleman, 20, and Kenyonte Galmore, 22, planned to rob Rodriguez, prosecutors say.
But Coleman and Galmore ended up killing her, prosecutors said in court papers filed Monday, charging the two men and Rivera with Rodriguez’s murder.
Coleman and Galmore are currently in a Mississippi jail facing unrelated charges. Coleman is charged with aggravated assault with a gun for a 2016 incident and Galmore is charged with witness intimidation stemming from the case, according to court documents.
The pair were caught on hotel video surveillance and Galmore’s DNA was found at the scene, court papers said.
Norfolk prosecutors have warrants in Coahoma County jails for their return to Massachusetts to face charges for Rodriguez’s murder.
Toni Troop of the advocacy group Jane Doe Inc. said women being trafficked aren’t so different from people facing domestic violence or sexual assault, and they often need encouragement to seek the resources out there to help.
“We want them to know they are valued, that they are not alone, that there are resources available to support people in their choices and in the circumstances they are facing without judgment,” Troop said. “We urge people to reach out.”
In Massachusetts, calls to the National Human Trafficking Hotline have increased over the past four years, according to the Polaris Project, which operates the hotline.
In 2017, the hotline logged 346 calls, emails and online referrals, identifying 92 cases, while in 2014, there were 242 calls and 53 identified cases.