Violent crime mostly happens across the river in St. Louis, not in the quiet suburb of Columbia, Illinois. That's one reason Chris Coleman decided to raise his family there. But unfortunately, he broke the tradition he so much believed in when he strangled his wife and children in what was expected to be the most secure place, their home.
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Chris Coleman was a former security guard for the highly-regarded American Charismatic Christian author, speaker, and president of Joyce Meyer Ministries, Joyce Meyer. However, his entire life came crumbling down after he was sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of his wife and two sons. So, what happened to Chris Coleman? Where is he today?
Chris Coleman's profile and criminal summary
- Full name: Christopher Coleman
- Nickname: Chris Coleman
- Gender: Male
- Date of birth: 20 March 1977
- Age: 45 years (as of 2022)
- Zodiac sign: Pisces
- Place of birth: United States
- Current residence: Waupun, Wisconsin, United States
- Nationality: American
- Ethnicity: White
- Religion: Christianity
- Sexuality: Straight
- Mother: Connie Coleman
- Father: Ron Coleman
- Marital status: Widower
- Partner: Sheri Coleman (Deceased)
- Children: Garret and Gavin Coleman (Deceased)
- Criminal classification: Murderer
- Number of victims: Three
- Method of murder: Strangling to death
- Location of murder: Columbia, Illinois
- Status: Life imprisonment
- Former occupation: Personal security guard
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Who was Chris Coleman?
Chris was born on 20th March 1977 in the United States to Ron Coleman (father) and Connie Coleman (mother). He was raised in a Christian family, and upon graduating from high school, he signed up for the Marine Corp. In May 1997, while attending a K-9 training seminar at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, he met his future wife, Sheri.
They dated for a few months before exchanging their wedding vows. Later, he was hired by Joyce Meyer as part of his security team. He quickly rose through the ranks and was appointed Joyce Meyer's bodyguard. Joyce Meyer is an American author, speaker and the president of Joyce Meyer Ministries.
Even though his marriage to Sheri was full of ups and downs, he was never home due to the nature of his work. Instead, he spent most of his time travelling with Joyce Meyer. The couple was blessed with two lovely sons.
They welcomed their firstborn child, Garret Coleman, on 20th April 1998. Sheri was already pregnant with Garret when they tied the knot. Less than two years, the family was blessed with a second baby, Gavin Coleman, born in 2000. The family of four lived in a two-storey building in Columbia, Illinois.
What happened to Chris Coleman of the Coleman family murders?
On 5th May 2009, it was reported that Sheri, 31-years old at the time and his two sons, Garret (11 years) and Gavin (9 years), had been murdered. Chris woke up very early in the morning and went to the gym for his daily morning workout routine.
While at the gym, he made several calls and sent texts to his wife without a response. He called one of his neighbours requesting that he check out on Sheri and the kids since she was not answering her phone. Previously, Chris and his family received death threats from unknown people.
Some of the threats were channelled to his boss, Joyce Meyer, intimidating Chris to quit his job. The threats continued to stream in, and by 2009, letters turned up on their doorsteps. Chris' neighbour was a police detective who had been informed about the threats.
He had placed cameras in his driveway to watch Chris' home. Upon receiving the call from him at the gym, the officer requested back up from the station. When they didn't get any response from the door, the officers entered through the window only to find various red spray paint writing on the walls.
Main suspect and charges
Chris arrived at the scene from the gym, but he was restrained from entering the house. Upon being notified about his dead wife and kids, he only shed seemingly forced tears. He never asked for any details about the murder. The police also noticed that he was trying to cover scratches on his arm.
Immediately, he became the prime suspect in Coleman's family murders and was taken in for questioning. Chris insisted that his wife and kids were alive when he left for the gym, but medical reports indicated that the three were dead by 5:30 am, the same time Chris left the house.
Some of the evidence that pointed to him as the suspect were:
- The CCTV footage from the neighbour's home showed that no one else had entered the house after he left for the gym.
- There was no other DNA on their bodies apart from Chris'.
- A credit statement revealed that Chris had bought spray paint in the same colour as the one used at home.
- The threatening emails were traced back to an account Chris had set up six months before the ordeal.
- The three died between 3 am and 5 am when Chris was still at home.
- Swear words sprayed on their covers matched Chris’ handwriting.
What was Chris Coleman's murder motive?
The motive behind the trio's murder was Chris' affair with a woman known as Tara. During questioning, the police found out about the affair between Chris and Tara. Since he was always travelling from time to time, his job enabled him to live a secret life.
Since 2008, Chris had been having an affair with a cocktail waitress, Tara Lintz. Chris and Tara had met through Sheri since Tara was Sheri's childhood friend. He gave her a promise ring and sent her endless messages about marriage.
Divorcing Sheri was out of the question since Chris' boss, Joyce Meyer, had clearly stated that employees' divorce would lead to demotion or firing. On the other hand, Tara had given Chris an ultimatum to leave his wife by 4th May so that they could tie the knot.
Chris promised Tara that the divorce papers were ready and his wife would be served the following day when the deadline approached. Early 5th May 2009, the killings at Chris Coleman's house unfolded, leading to his arrest for being the prime suspect.
Where is Chris Coleman now?
He is currently serving his sentence at the Dodge Correctional Institution in Waupun, Wisconsin. The high profile trial began in April 2011. He admitted to having an affair with Tara. However, he pleaded not guilty to murdering his wife and sons.
Chris was found guilty of three counts of first-degree murder. He was sentenced to life imprisonment with no possibility of parole. In 2014, Chris appealed the verdict, but his conviction was upheld.
The story of Chris Coleman of the Coleman family murders is something unexplainable. It is a crime so cruel and so salacious that it's difficult even to wrap your head around. It can only be described as an entanglement between a successful husband and wife, a world-famous preacher, sex and lies.
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