Civil suit filed in Coleman deaths

3:20 PM, May 4, 2011   |    comments
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Monroe County, IL (KSDK) - A wrongful death civil lawsuit was filed Wednesday on behalf of Sheri Coleman and her two sons, Garett and Gavin, against Joyce Meyer Ministries, Chris Coleman, Joyce Meyer and Dan Meyer.

Antonio Romanucci, of Romanucci & Blandin, LLC, and co-counsel Jack C. Carey, of Law Office of Jack C. Carey, filed the suit this afternoon on behalf of the estate. A press conference is scheduled for 4 p.m.

Chris Coleman is on trial for the murder of Sheri, and their two sons, Gavin and Garett. He worked as chief of security for Joyce Meyer Ministries.

Read the civil suit

The suit claims Joyce, her son, Dan, and the ministry did not do enough to protect the lives of Sheri and her sons.

It alleges Joyce and Dan knew about the threatening emails sent to Chris and also received some of the threats about killing the Coleman family. It claims some of the threats were sent from a computer issued by Joyce Meyer Ministries.

The suit also alleges Joyce Meyer Ministries knew or should have known that Coleman was having an affair. It said Dan suspended Coleman's cell phone and should have known about the affair based on telephone records.

Sheri and Chris attended marriage counseling through the ministry, and the suit claims the ministry had the duty to care for Sheri and that the ministry failed to warn her about threats.

It claims Coleman had a duty to refrain from taking action that would endanger the lives of his family and that he caused the death of his family.

Joyce Meyer Ministries and Coleman are both being sued in excess of $50,000.

Michael King, lawyer for Joyce Meyer Ministries, emphatically denied any wrongdoing, adding Joyce Meyer was named in the lawsuit because she is a successful businesswoman and this is about money.

King said Chris Coleman had reported the threats to the ministry and that they contacted police, making it a police matter.

Regarding Coleman's affair with Tara Lintz, King said the ministry did not know about the affair until police informed them after the murders were committed.  He said Coleman lied to Daniel Meyer and the ministry about using his work phone to make calls to Tara Lintz in Florida, claiming they were to talk to Lintz's husband about Coleman's troubled marriage.

Chris Coleman is on trial for murdering his three family members. The defense finished presenting its case on Wednesday. The jury has yet to reach a verdict.

NewsChannel 5 and ksdk.com will have more information on this story throughout the day.

KSDK

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