Father of murdered family resigns from his job

By Calvin Palmer

The southwest Illinois man whose wife and two sons were found by police murdered in their home has resigned from his job, one of his attorneys confirmed yesterday.

Christopher Coleman, 32, quit his job as as chief of security for Joyce Meyer Ministries — a worldwide television evangelist organization based in Jefferson County.

“After an internal inquiry, it was discovered that Chris Coleman had failed to follow a ministry policy during his employment,” Joyce Meyer spokesman Roby Walker said. “During discussion with Mr. Coleman on Wednesday, he submitted his resignation.”

He would not provide any details on what policy Coleman was alleged to have violated.

Sources close to the investigation said Coleman had met up with a Florida woman described as his girlfriend while on trips for the ministry.

Attorney William Margulies, one of the attorneys representing Coleman, said he knows only that his client resigned his position.

“I don’t know any details other than that,” he said.

The Major Case Squad of the Greater St. Louis Area was called in about 7:00 a.m. May 5 by Columbia police to investigate after police discovered the bodies of Coleman’s wife, Sheri, 31, and their two sons, Garett, 11, and Gavin, 9. The three had been strangled in the family’s Columbia home.

Coleman left the house at about 5:45 a.m. to work out a St. Louis gym from where he called the police and asked that they check on the well-being of his family. He said he was unable to reach them by telephone.

Maj. Jeff Connor, deputy commander of the Major Case Squad, said investigators had isolated one suspect but has refused to comment on who that might be.

Connor said that the case is on hold while Monroe County State’s Attorney Kris Reitz and investigators review evidence, including that found on a highway median on I-255, along Coleman’s route to the gym.

The investigation has also led to Florida, where detectives interviewed a woman in Largo, said to be Coleman’s girlfriend.

Coleman’s attorneys have declined to comment on whether he had a girlfriend.

[Based on reports by the Belleville News-Democrat and St Louis Post-Dispatch.]

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