Man arrested in connection to ex-girlfriend's death now charged with murder

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Left: Keedrin Coppage, 22. Right: Sabrina Nguyen

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A Memphis man arrested in connection to his ex-girlfriend's death is now charged with first-degree murder.

Keedrin Coppage was arrested earlier this month on active warrants involving Sabrina Nguyen, but it wasn't until Friday that he was officially charged with first-degree murder and tampering with/fabricating evidence.

Keedrin Coppage

According to police, Coppage reportedly admitted that he was with her before and after her death on January 2. He said he killed her, placed her in the trunk of her car and then drove her to the intersection of Jackson and Maple. He then said he dumped her body on the sidewalk, changed clothes and tried to clean up the blood inside the car before abandoning the vehicle.

"She told me multiple times how he threatened her with a knife," Nguyen's brother Jimmy Nguyen said. "He had a knife to her head and everything. His whole purpose was to kill her.”

WREG found Coppage had a long history of violence in regards to Nguyen.

One court record says Nguyen called Memphis police December 14 saying Coppage was her ex-boyfriend and called her at least 25 times. She told police he threatened to "seriously harm her."

Another record says, on December 15, Nguyen told police she received multiple calls early in the morning where a computer-type voice told her she was going to be killed. She told police the calls mentioned her child. On December 16, Nguyen gave police a statement saying the threats included unique information between herself and Coppage.

A third court record says Nguyen told police, on December 19, she was walking into 201 Poplar to get a restraining order against Coppage. He allegedly approached her with a knife in his waist band and tried to grab her. Nguyen ran from him then tripped and fell. She says that is when Coppage pulled out the knife and almost stabbed her. The record goes on to say Coppage told her if she made a commotion, he was going to kill her. Nguyen says Coppage took her to her car, put her in the passenger seat and drove her around for hours. Coppage supposedly let her go around 7 p.m. that night.

The following week, Nguyen showed up at the North Main police station. She told officers Coppage dropped her off and took off in her car and would not return it.

“This situation has been going on since June of last year. It’s just been so much stuff going on. She tells us bits and pieces," Nguyen said. "I’m glad he got charged with it. We are going to try our best to get justice for our little sister and go out and make sure we get the maximum penalty we can get.”

Coppage had several warrants out for his arrest, including ones for kidnapping, assault and stalking when Nguyen was killed.

He was arrested by U.S. Marshals several days later, but wasn't charged initially in Nguyen's death.

That changed after Coppage reportedly admitted to investigators what he'd done.

Nguyen's family said the abuse had been going on since last June. They question how he got bond and was able to get back out to harm her again.

"We called the police maybe 200 times from August until December and they didn’t do nothing really. They just took a report and it just continued on going,” Jimmy Nguyen said. “When she did have an order of protection against him, he was still walking around in our neighborhood trying to break into our house and stuff.”

Memphis police say their records show seven incidents since June that ended with Coppage arrested.

During this time they say they connected Sabrina with a victim’s advocate with the Family Justice Center to get help.

As they fight for justice now, her family says they will remember the bright and loving person Sabrina was.

"It kills me because my sister was a really loving person. She cared about everybody. No matter what she was going through she would make sure you’re good before she helped herself,” Jimmy Nguyen said.

Coppage requested a public defender and is due back in court next week.

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