Husband Charged in Murders of Wife, Sons

Sherri Coleman and her children were murdered in her downstate home three weeks ago. Now, her relatives in Chicago are trying to make sure her husband doesn't benefit from the crim.

The scene in the 31-year-old’s house in downstate Columbia was hard for neighbors to fathom. Sherri was found strangled along with her two boys, Garett and Gavin. The word “punished” was sprayed on one of the walls, sources told NBC Chicago.

“There’s a very evil person in this world that would do this,” one neighbor said.

Sherri’s husband, Chris, worked security at a church and said his family had received threats related to his job.

Police are investigating the alleged threats, but this week they arrested Chris Coleman himself.  He claims he was working out at the time of the killings, but authorities have charged him with murdering his family.

There’s no word on a possible motive, but Sherri’s relatives claim Coleman took his wife’s name off the deed to their house months ago, making him sole owner of the property.

Yesterday, the family filed a wrongful death lawsuit, trying to prevent Coleman from selling the home.   Sherri’s cousin, Chicago attorney Enrico Mirabelli, toured the crime scene. When he left 20 minutes later, he was speechless.

Wednesday afternoon, court records were released that show investigators believe they’ve found the murder weapon -- a piece of orange twine with a noose tied in it. It was found a couple of miles from the crime scene, but investigators say it matches twine found on a bail of hay at the Coleman house.

The family said any money made from the lawsuit would go to a memorial fund in the name of Sherri and her sons. Coleman faces three counts of first-degree murder. He has pleaded not guilty and is being held without bond.

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