CHESTER, ILLINOIS (KPLR)– Should a killer`s family control the victim`s bodies? Family members of a slain Columbia, Illinois family say that’s what’s happening to their loved ones. The fight involves the graves of Sheri Coleman and her sons Gavin and Garett, strangled in May, 2009. Fox 2’s Chris Hayes looked at the fight over where the bodies should rest.
Before he was arrested, Chris Coleman appeared to cry with his parents over the graves of his wife Sheri and their boys Gavin and Garett. Video of that scene is more haunting today now that a jury has convicted him for strangling his family.
Yet the bodies remain buried in Coleman’s hometown of Chester, Illinois. Sheri`s family lives near Chicago. As their Belleville Attorney Jack Carey explains, they never imagined Coleman`s parents would demand the graves stay in Chester.
Carey explained, “They could not believe this had happened. It reminded me when decades ago someone said, ‘have you no shame?'”
Carey filed a motion to dismiss an injunction and restraining order that are keeping Sheri and her boys about 350 miles away from home.
Carey added, “Christopher Coleman, the murderer, the slayer, he has no standing over the control of anything. He can`t inherit, he can`t be a beneficiary to life insurance policy, nothing.”
Reporter Chris Hayes asks, “And yet he does still have control?”
Carey: “Well obviously by this temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction he is exercising control over the remains of the people he murdered and his parents have thrown in with him.”
In his filing, Carey included news transcripts, like a quote from Rev. Ron Coleman, describing Sherry to St. Louis Magazine as “…a wordly little girl, little short shorts, tattoo on her leg, not the person we thought he`d be with.”
The interview transcripts with Chris Coleman`s parents, Connie and Rev. Ron Coleman, all have a consistent theme of ‘denial.’ It`s as if they`re saying everyone in the world is a liar, except their son Chris.
Another quote seems to blame the victim Sheri when Rev. Ron Coleman tells St. Louis Magazine, “(Sheri) told Chris all the time that he was moody and he wasn`t affectionate enough. She never did compliment him. That`s why he was so attracted to this (mistress) Tara.”
Carey said some of the quotes, “just cut to the core of these people (Sheri’s family). They`ve lost their daughter, their sister, their nephews, their grandsons and the Coleman`s are somehow suggesting that everybody else lied.”
An attorney for the Colemans, Rich Whitney out of Carbondale, said he’s preparted to fight in Court. Late Friday afternoon he said he barely had a chance to review the new motions, but he did not believe the transcript interview portions make the point Attorney Jack Carey is trying to make.
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