WATERLOO — The lawyers for the family of murder victims Sheri, Garett and Gavin Coleman on Thursday refiled a wrongful death lawsuit against Joyce Meyer Ministries in Monroe County.
A previous suit was dismissed by Associate Judge Richard Aguirre because he said the judge wanted more specificity under the law as to why the ministry was responsible.
Christopher Coleman, who was convicted of the deaths of his wife and sons and is serving life without parole, worked as Joyce Meyer's personal bodyguard and head of security in May 2009, earning a six-figure salary.
Six months before the murders, Coleman began a relationship with his wife's friend, Florida dog track waitress Tara Lintz.
"(Joyce Meyer Ministries) had either a written or unwritten policy prohibiting employees from having adulterous affairs and maintaining their jobs at (Joyce Meyer Ministries)," the complaint stated.
According to the complaint, the ministry:
* Provided Christopher Coleman with a laptop computer that police later said he used to send death threats to his family.
* Heard Christopher Coleman's complaints about the state of his marriage to Sheri and sent them to marriage counseling.
"The amended complaint has no new facts in it that would suggest that the Ministry is in any way responsible for this tragic act committed by Chris Coleman against his family," said Mike King, lawyer for Joyce Meyer Ministries. "We are confident that the Court will dismiss this one also."
Jack Carey, one of the lawyers who represents Sheri Coleman's family, stated in the complaint that Joyce Meyer, her husband, David, and other members of the ministry knew that Chris Coleman was unhappy in his marriage, but did nothing to investigate the source of the threats against his family and failed to give warning to Sheri Coleman.
"We have pleaded with more specificity to answer the judge's concern and we are ready to proceed with discovery," Carey said.
Sheri, Garett and Gavin Coleman were found strangled in their beds in their Columbia home on May 5, 2009. Chris Coleman called police that morning when he couldn't get anyone to answer his phone calls. He had been at a south St. Louis County gym for an early morning workout.
Contact reporter Beth Hundsdorfer at firstname.lastname@example.org or 239-2570.