CHESTER, Ill. (CBS/AP) Money donated to pay for the funerals of a slain mother and her two sons might be going to the man accused of killing them.
That's according to a lawyer representing the family of Sheri Coleman, who was found strangled in her Columbia home on May 5 along with her sons Garett, 11, and Gavin, 9.
Chris Coleman, the woman's husband and father to the boys, has been charged in the killings and is being held without bond.
After the murders, Chris Coleman's father's church collected money to help pay for the funerals. But Jack Carey, an attorney representing her family, wants an accounting of the collections gathered at the May 9 wake and funeral at Grace Church Ministries in Chester. Carey says he was contacted by a donor who was concerned about where the money was going. Another donor stopped payment on a check made to the same fund out of simiar concerns.
"We were chagrined at this revelation of this fund and understand it is a sizable amount," Carey said to The Belleville News-Democrat. "I just wonder where that money went and whether it is being used to benefit Christopher Coleman."
According to the News-Democrat, Ronald Coleman was asked to produce documents in connection with the wrongful death suit, "such as Christopher Coleman's income tax returns, salary and benefit information, copies of his military discharge papers and firearm owner's identification card."
Grace Church Ministries is not in good standing with the Secretary of State of Illinois.
Chris Coleman's girlfriend, Tara 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 paramour the evening of May 4, just hours before the murders.
Chris Coleman maintains his innocence. A trial date has not been set.