Fri February 11, 2011
Morning headlines: Coleman trial postponed, STL city leaders blasting Nixon, no charges in Martin overdose death, IL Gov Quinn releases docs on budget cuts
- According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, a judge has postponed the trial of Christopher Coleman, who's accused of killing his wife and sons. His defense lawyers asserted they needed more time to examine DNA evidence. Jury selection in the trial was to begin Tuesday. On Thursday, the judge also denied a defense effort to exclude Coleman's taped six-hour interview with Columbia police on May 5, 2009, the day the bodies were found in the family's home. Coleman, 33, is charged with three counts of first-degree murder in the killings of his wife Sheri, and sons Gavin and Garrett. Police allege Coleman killed them because he was having an affair and could not get a divorce without jeopardizing his job with Joyce Meyer Ministries. The next hearing is scheduled for April 15. There is no word on when a trial might begin.
- St. Louis city leaders are blasting Gov. Jay Nixon after he said local control of the police department could lead to "political meddling in law enforcement." The Post-Dispatch reports that Nixon made the comments on Thursday to reporters at a luncheon at the Governor's Mansion. It was the first time Nixon took a public position on the bill that would transfer control from a board he controls to the city. The governor's comments were met with disdain by St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay and Lewis Reed, president of the Board of Aldermen. Reed said the real political meddling is taking place under the current system, in which the governor appoints the Board of Police Commissioners. The St. Louis Police Department has been under state control since the Civil War.
- The St. Louis County prosecutor says no charges will be filed in connection with the overdose death of 27-year-old Adrienne Martin, the girlfriend of Anheuser-Busch heir August Busch IV. Martin died Dec. 19 in Busch's home. Prosecuting Attorney Bob McCulloch said Thursday the investigation into Martin's death is closed for now, but it could be reopened if more information becomes available. An autopsy report released Wednesday showed Martin died of an accidental overdose of the prescription painkiller oxycodone. McCulloch says Martin also had cocaine in her system.
- Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn has released documents showing $3 billion in budget cuts made during his tenure. The documents were released Thursday night and had been requested by lawmakers for months. During the campaign for governor, Quinn insisted he had cut spending but didn't provide details. The Chicago Tribune reports that the new document offers only an outline of cuts.
Death at Busch Home