Could convicted family killer Chris Coleman get a new trial?

WATERLOO, Ill. – It looks like the door has opened a little for convicted murderer Chris Coleman getting a chance for a new trial.

Coleman was back in the Monroe County Courthouse in Waterloo, Illinois Wednesday afternoon. He was a convicted in 2011 of killing his wife and two sons in their Columbia, Illinois home. He’s already tried one appeal and that failed.

His new defense attorney is trying a different route. He’s claiming that Coleman did not have sufficient representation at trial. Although, the prosecution noted at least one of Coleman’s attorneys is known as being the best in the state.

The more important issue may be one that has to do with the evidence presented to the jury. Nude but censored photos of Coleman and his girlfriend were entered into evidence. The defense said they were put on white foam board and nothing was on the back.

However, when they were turned over to the jury for deliberations there were pages attached to the back. Those pages contained metadata. According to witness interviews after the trial, jurors were first going to vote not guilty, but when they saw the metadata, they changed their minds. They believed information on that back of those photos made Coleman look as if he was not telling the truth about the timing of his affair and must have been lying about other things.

Monroe County State’s Attorney Chris Hitzeman said an upcoming evidentiary hearing will prove something completely different.

“We’re going to have a hearing on that in the next couple of weeks. I believe that we’ll be able to show in that hearing that is not, in fact, the case the metadata that the information was submitted as it was presented in court,” Hitzeman said.

In other words, nothing wrong took place, according to Hitzeman.

After the hearing, Coleman was taken back to prison. The judge said he will have to decide if the metadata got onto the back of those nude photos by accident or if it was a nefarious deed. It was nefarious, there’s a chance Coleman could get his new trial.

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