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TMCNet:  Documents: Coleman texted his girlfriend on the days the wake, funeral were held for his wife and sons

[July 16, 2009]

Documents: Coleman texted his girlfriend on the days the wake, funeral were held for his wife and sons

WATERLOO, Jul 16, 2009 (Belleville News-Democrat - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- On the days of his murdered wife's and sons' wake and funeral at his father's Chester church, Chris Coleman texted his Florida girlfriend and told her he loved and missed her, according to court documents.


Chris Coleman's lover and Sheri Coleman's high school friend, Tara Lintz, of St. Petersburg, Fla., told police that Lintz sent the text messages on May 8 and 9 -- the days of Sheri, Garett and Gavin Coleman's wake and funeral at the Rev. Ronald Coleman's Grace Church Ministries.

Lintz also told police that she hadn't received a text message or a phone call from Chris Coleman since May 9, but detectives were "unable to verify this statement because Lintz advises she lost (the) cellular phone while at Busch Gardens on June 3," according to a search warrant return filed on Wednesday.

Coleman, the former personal bodyguard of televangelist Joyce Meyer, faces three counts of first-degree murder in the ligature strangulations of his 31-year-old wife and sons, ages 9 and 11, who were found on May 5 in their beds in their Columbia home.

But nearly six months before their deaths, Chris Coleman reported to Columbia police that he received a threatening e-mail at his Joyce Meyer Ministries account from the e-mail account "destroychris@gmail.com." "If I can't get to Joyce, then I will get to someone close to her and if I can't get to him then I will kill his wife and kids," the e-mail stated. "I know Joyce's schedule, so I know Chris' schedule. ... During the Houston conference, I will kill them all as they sleep. If I don't hit there, then I will kill them during the book tour or the trip to India. I know where he lives and I know they are alone." The search warrant ordered the e-mail provider, Google, to provide the Internet provider address to allow police to track the letter's author.

A subpoena sent to AT&T showed that on the morning of the murders, Chris Coleman called his wife's cell phone at 5:44 a.m. -- just one minute after a surveillance video captured Chris Coleman leaving his home to go to a south St. Louis County gym.

He called Sheri Coleman's cell phone three times after that.

Another search warrant requested fingerprints and palm prints from Coleman.

In that document, Columbia Detective Karla Heine stated police found a latex glove stained with, "what appeared to be red spray paint on it," along the median on the Illinois side of the Jefferson Barracks Bridge by members of the Major Case Squad. The glove was collected as evidence because investigators found threatening and vulgar messages in red spray paint inside the Coleman home.

The messages included "Punished" and "Whore paid." Investigators also found a box of latex gloves at Meyer Ministries in the security office that "were similar" to the glove found on the side of the highway. Chris Coleman had a master key to that office, the document stated.

Another search warrant, this one served on the operators of the social networking site Facebook revealed that Coleman had a Facebook fan club that was established before the murders.

Mary E. Davis, a staffer at Joyce Meyer Ministries told an Illinois investigator, "That a Facebook group account titled something to the effect of Fans of Joyce Meyer Bodyguard," was available on the Internet until the site was removed after the murders. Davis said that on Sept. 19, 2008, she had a record of an a "Natalie Johnson," an apparent fan, asking about Coleman.

"Does anyone know Chris' e-mail address? I'd like to send him a note," Johnson e-mailed, according to the search warrant.

Videos still available online of Meyer's trips to events where she addressed ten of thousands of followers, show Coleman never more than a few steps away on the stage. Another video shows him pouring milk into her coffee and handing her books at a book signing. In still an other video, Meyer pretends to repel "temptation" during a speech by play-fighting with a smiling Coleman, who mock fights with her before backing away.

The search warrants were released by a judge's order after a News-Democrat request in the weeks after the murders.

Coleman remains in the Monroe County Jail without bail.

Contact reporter Beth Hundsdorfer at bhundsdorfer@bnd.com or 239-2570. Contact reporter George Pawlaczyk at gpawlaczyk@bnd.com.

To see more of the Belleville News-Democrat, Ill., or to subscribe, visit http://www.belleville.com. Copyright (c) 2009, Belleville News-Democrat, Ill.

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