By Calvin Palmer
A southwest Illinois man talked on the phone to his girlfriend in Florida just hours before his wife and two sons were found strangled in their Columbia home.
Christopher Coleman, 32, planned to divorce his wife by June 14 and marry 31-year-od Tara Lintz, of St Petersburg, Florida, next year, according to search warrant records. Lintz was a “good friend” of his wife and admitted to detectives from the St. Petersburg Police Department to having a sexual relationship with Coleman since November.
The relationship started several weeks after Sheri Coleman signed off the family’s deed to their $230,000 home on Robert Drive in Columbia on October 6.
Coleman told investigators from the Major Case Squad that he denied committing the homicides but admitted having a sexual relationship with Lintz.
Sheri Coleman’s friends told police that she recently closed her Facebook account because she received threats possibly related to death threats she had received at her residence.
Sheri also reported to friends that there were unauthorized changes to her Facebook account without her knowledge.
Coleman has been charged with first-degree murder in the May 5 ligature strangulations of his wife, Sheri Coleman, 31, and their sons Garett, 11, and Gavin, 9.
The former head of security for the Joyce Meyer Ministries is being held in Monroe County Jail without bond.
Search warrant records reveal that detectives found an orange piece of twine with a noose tied on one end near the Jefferson Barracks Bridge that resembled twine used to tie four bales of straw found behind the Colemans’ home.
The warrants also show that that Sheri Coleman was found naked and face down in bed. Rigor mortis, which stiffens a corpse and usually occurs after two or three hours, had set in.
Messages sprayed on the walls of the home in red paint were directed at Sheri Coleman.
“Punished” was written in the dining room, “whore paid” or “u have paid” in an upstairs room and “I saw you leave, f**k you, I am always watching” in the kitchen.
[Based on a report by the Belleville News-Democrat.]