Chris Coleman speaks from prison about murder of wife, 2 sons

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by John Knicely / News 4

KMOV.com

Posted on May 4, 2012 at 1:17 AM

Updated Friday, May 4 at 11:00 PM

COLUMBIA, Il. (KMOV) -- May 5th marks the one year anniversary of when Chris Coleman was convicted of murdering his wife, Sheri, and their two sons, Gavin and Garrett.  Coleman maintained his innocence in the first interview he’s done while in prison.

It was May 5th, 2009 when Sherri, Gavin, and Garrett were found strangled in their Columbia, Illinois home.  Chris Coleman had said he was at the gym that morning.  Now from prison he’s answering questions that many have been asking, like why does he think the jury found him guilty if he’s actually innocent.

“I don't know if you'd say wrong place, wrong time, but more of a moral thing in a small town community,” Coleman said.  “With the affair going on and so forth.”  He went on to add, “Then having 10 women on the jury and only 2 men.”

He now admits that affair with Tara Lintz.  And that affair is a key part of his conviction.  The jurors who initially wanted to find him not-guilty say dates of the affair were key to changing their minds.  Coleman claimed the affair started in November.  A picture of him kissing Lintz was traced to his phone in October.  Jurors said if he lied about that then he could be lying about everything.  Even with those phone records Coleman insists the affair didn’t start in October.

“There's no-- there's no way because it's just there is absolutely no way that's-- that can be true,” Coleman said.

During the trial Coleman never testified.  He says his attorney said it wouldn’t be wise.  When asked what he would have told the jury he said, “Just that I absolutely love my wife and my 2 kids. It's not me.”

Coleman still maintains that his family was targeted because he worked for Joyce Meyers Ministries.  Email threats to him and his family were ultimately traced back to his computer by experts.  He maintains someone else sent those threats and could have used the ministry as a decoy.  

When asked what he wanted to happen to the person who he thinks committed the murders, he said, “It would be nice if the same thing that happened to my family happened to that person.”

The prison interview was part of a 48 Hours Mystery investigation and the entire interview can be seen on Channel 4 at 9 p.m. Saturday night.

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