Man sentenced in 2005 Watts killing and 2014 domestic assault
A man was sentenced on March 15 to 53 years in state prison for the murder of an acquaintance more than a decade ago and for assaulting his girlfriend in 2014, according to the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office.
On Feb. 18, a jury found Allis Troy Coleman, 44, guilty of first-degree murder in the death of Semaj Henry in 2005.
Coleman was also found guilty on four other counts: assault with a firearm, possession of a firearm by a felon, making criminal threats, and possession of ammunition. Jurors also found true a special allegation that the defendant used a handgun to commit the murder.
Coleman was initially prosecuted for the domestic violence case involving his girlfriend, according to prosecutors.
On May 24, 2014, Coleman visited his girlfriend’s home and began to beat her, prosecutors said. Coleman then pulled out a handgun and made threats, according to court testimony.
At some point, the girlfriend calmed Coleman and gathered her family so they could leave the home. As they were leaving, his girlfriend’s daughter called 911.
As prosecutors examined the domestic violence case, they discovered Coleman had been charged in connection with the murder of Semaj Henry in 2005. The case was dismissed in February 2006 due to a ruling by the court that Coleman’s two separate murder confessions were inadmissible, including one given to Coleman’s wife at the time, according to court records.
With the assistance of investigators, prosecutors located three new witnesses who testified that Coleman fatally shot Henry.
In May 2015, Coleman was charged with murder again, and prosecutors consolidated that charge with the domestic violence case.
During trial, prosecutors argued that Coleman knew Henry at the time of the shooting.
Prosecutors said that on June 20, 2005, Coleman shot Henry in the back and elbow as Henry sat in a Ford Explorer. Coleman then pushed Henry’s body out of the car and left him for dead in a residential cul de sac in Watts, fleeing in the SUV, prosecutors added.
Editor's note: The Homicide Report previously identified Semaj Henry as Seamj Henry.