The man convicted of murdering his wife and two children says he was set up. His father also said Coleman’s affair wasn’t motive for murder, but rather due to his wife’s lack of respect.
A jury sentenced Chris Coleman to death in 2011 - after convicting him of strangling his wife Sheri and their two boys, Gavin and Garett. Coleman is a minister’s son and during the murders, he was the bodyguard for world-renowned televangelist Joyce Meyer.
Columbia, IL police walked into a house of horrors in May 2009.
They saw spray-painted walls, in red letters, “I am always watching,” 'U have paid,” and “punished.”
Police and prosecutors say Chris Coleman spray painted his walls to make it look like someone else killed his family. They even traced threatening emails to his own laptop, like one letter that said, in part, “I will kill them all as they sleep.”
Coleman talked to Crime Watch Daily by phone from prison.
“Actually, what never came out in court is I had two laptops and I traveled with one and I left the other one either at home or at the office,” he said. “They were never both on me at the same time and the one that was connected to the threats was the one that I would leave either at home or at work.”
Coleman said his defense lawyers didn’t point out that six other people used the laptop.
“They never presented that. They never presented at the point of entry there are fingerprints that are unknown. In this petition have state crime lab reports,” he said. “The state themselves have the crime lab reports of the fingerprints that say they are unknown and do not match anyone, Mr. Coleman's family, friends, any of the police officers, anything.”
During the trial, a computer expert said the sender of the threatening emails signed in using Coleman’s personal id.
The jury in 2011 was deadlocked for a while but was ultimately swayed by Coleman’s affair with Tara Lintz. She wore his promise ring when she testified that Coleman told her he would present his wife Sheri with divorce papers on May 4 or May 5.
Police found Sheri, Gavin, and Garret dead in their home on May 5.
Coleman's father, Ron, insists his son is innocent. He told Crime Watch Daily's Ana Garcia that his son's affair was not motive for murder.
“Tara was just meeting a need at the time that Sheri wasn't taking care of,” he said.
When asked to clarify, Ron Coleman answered, “Well, I mean, every man has his desires and every man has to be respected. It's built into every man, if your wife doesn't respect you, then you're going to find respect someplace else.”
Reporter Garcia followed up: “So are you saying Sheri was a bad wife?”
“Just that at that short brief time she stepped back from doing her job as a wife,” he said.
A newly released police interview with Coleman's former mistress also revealed a twist. Police said Ron Coleman had a “rather compromising” picture of Tara Lintz on his computer. Lintz appeared surprised and said she didn’t know anything about it.
Coleman now awaits a hearing on a request his new lawyer made for an Illinois court to reconsider his conviction.