WATERLOO, IL (KMOX)-Attorneys for Joyce Meyer Ministries were back in a Monroe County Courtroom Wednesday, seeking to have the wrongful death lawsuit filed against it by the family of Sheri Coleman thrown out.
Sheri was murdered, along with her sons Garret and Gavin in their Columbia, Il home in 2009, by her husband and the boy’s father, Christopher Coleman, who was the ministry’s chief of security.
The arguments Wednesday centered on whether the ministry had a ‘duty’ to do more to protect Sheri and the boys.
An attorney for Sheri Coleman’s family Rebekah Williams, argued that because of the ministry’s policy regarding communications, that all are subject to ministry review, it should have known that the threats against his family, received by Chris Coleman, were actually written by Chris on his ministry computer.
Williams and fellow family attorney Jack Carey argued that by offering the Coleman’s marital counseling, the ministry was assuming responsibility to determine that Chris was having an affair, as well as sending threats concerning Sheri and the children.
Ministry attorney Michael King argued that the ministry’s communications policy does not provide a duty to investigate what is sent or received on an employees email.
He also argued that under Illinois law, even if the ministry knew Chris had written the threats, it did not have a ‘duty’ to warn the family.
King pointed out that the ministry had offered Chris extra police protection and security, but Chris turned it down. Williams argued that after offering that extra security, the ministry chose to do nothing and “Allowed the murders of Coleman’s family to take place.”
King told the judge that, “It’s far-fetched to think that what Chris Coleman did (killing his wife and children) had anything to do with his job at Joyce Meyer Ministries.
The judge gave no indication when he may rule on the motion to dismiss, but noted that whatever he decides will be appealed.
Carey says the ministry’s efforts to have the case thrown out is merely a delaying tactic. King says it’s just part of the legal process. King said there’s only one reason the ministry is facing the suit in the first place, “There are a number of other people who had this information that they say the ministry had, none of those people are defendants in this case and there’s only one reason. That reason is none of those people have any money.”