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Coleman Update: Medical Investigation For Slain Mother And Sons

(Family Photo)
11-year-old Garett Coleman and 9-year-old Gavin Coleman

WATERLOO, Ill. (CBS/ AP) A coroner's inquest will be held after all in the southwestern Illinois slayings of a Columbia mother and her two sons.

31-year-old Sheri Coleman and her children, 11-year-old Garett and 9-year-old Gavin, were found strangled to death in their Columbia home on May 5, 2009. Coleman's husband, Chris, is charged with three counts of first degree murder in the deaths of his wife and children. Authorities have said that all three victims were strangled with some type of wire, rope or cord.

An inquest is a judicial investigation by a group of court-appointed people, including a medical examination by a coroner, into the cause of a death that was sudden, violent or suspicious.

Monroe County Coroner Julie Gummersheimer initially decided not to have a coroner's jury hear the case involving Sheri Coleman and the boys.

Gummersheimer says she reconsidered after discussing the matter with investigators and the prosecutor's office. The inquest will be held July 10 in Waterloo.

Illinois statutes don't require an inquest, but leave it up to the county coroner whether or not to hold one.

Chris Coleman's was having an affair with Tara Lintz, a Florida woman. Lintz was interviewed by police in St. Petersburg, Fla., in the days following the murders. She admitted to investigators that she had sexually explicit communications with Chris Coleman by phone and email. She said their sexual relationship began in November 2008 and the two planned to get married in 2010 after Chris Coleman had divorced his wife.

Lintz was a high school friend of Sheri Coleman, and had worked at strip club in Florida. Lintz told police she had talked to her lover the evening of May 4, just hours before the murders.

Chris Coleman maintains his innocence. He has pleaded not guilty and has been ordered to stand trial. He remained jailed Monday without bond.

(AP Photo/Tim Vizer)
Chris Coleman with his parents
  • Ryan Smith

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