A young couple reportedly partied at a bar after allegedly murdering a 19-year-old girl, then argued about how to dispose of her corpse in text and Facebook messages!
Jury selection has begun at Christopher Coleman’s trial for the murder of his wife and two sons, who were found strangled in their beds in May 2009.
In Perry County, 60 miles east of the Illinois town where the murders occurred, approximately 80 potential jurors filled out questionnaires Monday. A judge denied a defense request to move the whole trial out of Monroe County, but he did rule that jurors would need to be selected in another county and bused in for the trial.
A total of 300 prospective jurors have been summoned for the case, but the rest will only be called if a full jury cannot be picked from the first set. Attorneys will begin questioning specific jurors from the initial pool Tuesday.
Prosecutors have claimed that Coleman, 34, killed 31-year-old Sheri Coleman, 11-year-old Garett and 9-year-old Gavin because he had been having an affair with a Florida woman for six months and he feared that seeking a divorce from Sheri would endanger his job as a bodyguard with Joyce Meyer Ministries.
Coleman allegedly staged the crime scene to deflect suspicion from himself by spraying the walls of their house with threatening messages in red paint.
According to search warrants, Coleman had reported receiving anonymous threatening letters or emails three times in the months before the murders. Warrants indicate that police suspected he sent at least one of those messages to himself.
His former employer, televangelist Joyce Meyer, and her son testified in closed depositions last week because they will be on tour during the week the trial is scheduled to begin. Recordings of their testimony will be made public at the trial.
Opening statements are currently scheduled for April 25.