Judge: Coleman bodies can be relocated

A Randolph County judge on Monday afternoon ruled that the bodies of a Columbia mother and her two sons murdered in 2009 can be moved from their current resting places in a Chester cemetery and re-buried upstate per the family’s wishes.

During an October hearing, Judge Richard Brown issued a stay, meaning that the bodies of murder victims Sheri, Garett and Gavin Coleman could not be exhumed. But Judge Brown set a Nov. 5 hearing at that time to decide whether to issue a preliminary injunction permanently barring exhumation of the bodies.

Representing the Sheri Coleman family, attorney Jack Carey argued Monday that her family wished to have the bodies moved to Chicago, where Sheri’s mother and brother currently reside and where Sheri grew up. Carey claimed that under the state’s so-called “slayer statute,” Chris Coleman lost his right to choose the burial place when he was convicted of their murders.

Rev. Ron Coleman, father of Chris Coleman — the former security chief for televangelist Joyce Meyer who was convicted of murdering his wife and two sons — sought to keep the bodies in Chester, where Chris grew up. Chris Coleman selected the burial site.

Sheri, Garett and Gavin were found dead in their Columbia home on May 5, 2009. Chris Coleman was later arrested for their murders and convicted on May 5, 2011.

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Corey Saathoff

Corey is the editor of the Republic-Times. He has worked at the newspaper since 2004, and currently resides in Columbia. He is also the principal singer-songwriter and plays guitar in St. Louis area country-rock band The Trophy Mules.
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