Chris Coleman murder trial jury screening begins

11:14 AM, Apr 11, 2011   |    comments
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Waterloo, Ill (KSDK) - Jury section begins this week in the Chris Coleman murder trial.

Coleman is accused of strangling his wife Sheri and sons Gavin and Garret in their Columbia, Illinois home in May, 2009. He has pleaded not guilty.

Prosecutors say Coleman murdered his family because he was having an affair and wanted to leave his wife but his job with televangelist Joyce Meyer would have been in jeopardy if he got a divorce. Meyer and her son taped their testimony last week since they'll be out of town during the trial.

Jurors will be chosen in Pinckneyville, Illinois, but the trial will be held at the Monroe County Courthouse in Waterloo. Coleman's attorneys asked for a change of venue because of all the media coverage in the case. Instead, a judge ruled the jurors would be chosen in another county, and bused to the Monroe County Courthouse for the trial.

An estimated 80 potential jurors were screened on the first day.  The judge swore them all in, instructed them on the rules as jurors and gave them a survey to fill out.  The lawyers will use the survey results to help them pick the jury.

Opening statements are scheduled to begin on April 25th. 

NewsChannel 5's Ryan Dean is covering the trial and will be tweeting about the case.  Follow his tweets @ksdknews.


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