WATERLOO, Ill. (AP) __ Televangelist Joyce Meyer gave testimony Wednesday ahead of the trial of her former bodyguard who is accused of strangling his wife and their two sons in 2009.

Christopher Coleman, 34, is jailed without bond and has pleaded not guilty in the May 2009 killings of his wife, 31-year-old Sheri Coleman, and the couple’s two children, ages 11 and 9. Meyer said she is praying for Coleman, whose trial begins next week. “The state’s attorney asked me to testify and I just did,” Meyer said. “I answered the questions honestly and truthfully and I’ve cooperated fully all the way through.”

Meyer’s son and chief executive of the ministry’s U.S. operations, Dan Meyer, also testified at the Monroe County courthouse. Meyer didn’t say what she was asked or how she answered questions. Court officials have said the recordings could be played in open court during Coleman’s trial.

Authorities believe that Christopher Coleman was trying to escape his marriage so he could be with a Florida girlfriend when the killings took place. Prosecutors allege that he staged the crime scene to appear as if the killings were the work of a deranged enemy of Meyer’s ministry. Investigators accuse Coleman of writing and sending himself threatening letters and emails to support his story.

Christopher Coleman was earning a six-figure salary and traveling worldwide as Meyer’s security chief. Friends have testified that Sheri Coleman had confided that her husband believed she and their two sons were in the way of his career, and that the wife had said her husband did not see divorce as an option because it would cost him his job with Meyer, whose ministry had a no-divorce policy.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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