Motion to dismiss Coleman petition - Republic-Times | News

Motion to dismiss Coleman petition

By on December 19, 2018 at 3:18 pm
Chris Coleman mug shot

Chris Coleman

In what may finally bring the murder conviction of Chris Coleman to a close, Monroe County State’s Attorney Chris Hitzemann filed a motion last week to dismiss a post conviction petition filed in April on Coleman’s behalf.

Coleman, who was convicted in 2011 for the May 5, 2009 murders of his wife, Sheri, and two young sons, Garret, 11, and Gavin, 9, is serving concurrent life terms. Earlier this year, he filed a petition for post conviction relief which, if granted, would afford him a new trial in the same Monroe County court that convicted him.

Coleman stated in his petition that he is due a new trial based on ineffective counsel, denial of due process and a claim of “actual innocence.”

Hitzemann and Appellate Prosecutor Charles R. Zalar responded with a motion to dismiss that addresses each of those claims.

Coleman’s motion for a new trial and his appeal, which differs from a petition for post conviction relief, were already denied. An appeal is limited to considering information from the original trial. A petition for post conviction relief addresses violations of a defendant’s constitutional rights.

The appellate court in its decision found that “circumstantial evidence of guilt was overwhelming. The court additionally found that when all the contentions of errors were considered, the defendant nonetheless received a fundamentally fair trial,” according to Hitzemann’s motion to dismiss.

To read the entire Motion to Dismiss, click here.


Read the rest of the story in the December 19, 2018, newspaper.

If you don’t already receive the Republic-Times newspaper in your mailbox, click here or call 939-3814 to subscribe.

Or consider joining a growing number of readers who receive their news electronically. To view a free demo of the online R-T, click here.

Subscribe to the full-color online edition of the Republic-Times, which is delivered to your inbox every Wednesday by lunchtime and can be accessed anywhere, from any electronic device, for just $25 a year, by clicking here or calling 939-3814.

Andrea F.D. Saathoff

Andrea is a graduate of Gibault High School and the University of Missouri School of Journalism, the University of Missouri Harry S Truman School of Public Affairs and Southern Illinois University Edwardsville College of Education. She lives in Columbia with her husband and their twin toddler sons. When she isn't cheering on St. Louis Cardinals baseball or riding the emotional roller coaster of Mizzou Tigers football, she enjoys attending and participating in the many family events the county has to offer. email: andrea@republictimes.net