Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Joseph Coleman's lawyer says kidnapping investigation wasn't thorough

DADE CITY — An attorney for Joseph Coleman, who is accused of attacking his wife with a gun and nearly killing her, argued Wednesday that detectives failed to investigate the case thoroughly and decided from the get-go that Coleman was guilty.

Authorities say Coleman, 56, went to his estranged wife's house in Lacoochee on May 2, 2006, in a jealous rage. He believed she was having an affair, so he kicked in her door and shoved a gun in her face, threatening to kill her, according to the allegations. In the struggle, the gun went off and Sylvia Denise Grant, now 36, was wounded in the neck and shoulder. She got into their van with Coleman driving, she said, but instead of taking her to get help, he told her he was going to drive around until she passed out from blood loss.

Grant bailed out of the van and was rescued by a phone company worker nearby. She told paramedics that her husband had shot her.

Coleman was arrested a few hours later, found hiding in some shrubs off Polite Street in Trilby. He is charged with kidnapping and attempted murder and faces life in prison if convicted.

Pasco sheriff's Detective James Medley interviewed Coleman hours after the shooting and said in Coleman's version of events, he walked to Grant's house, found the door open and his wife inside bleeding.

Medley built his case on Grant's statements, a witness who saw the couple in the van and a surveillance video from a business on U.S. 301 showing Grant fleeing the van.

But Coleman's attorney, Chris Carver, pressed Medley on some omissions in the investigation.

Why didn't he take a print of Coleman's shoe to see if it matched bloody footprints inside Grant's house?

Why didn't he verify the claim that neither Coleman nor Grant had a phone with which to call for help?

Why did he have Coleman submit to a test to detect for gunshot residue on his hands that Medley knew to be unreliable?

"It's a good question," Medley replied. "I don't know why. I just had it done."

Finally, Carver wondered why authorities never searched for any other suspects.

"You have never looked at anybody else in this case?" Carver asked.

"No reason to, that's correct," Medley said.

"No reason to because the wife said it was him?" Carver asked.

"I've never had any leads or any other information," Medley said.

Both sides rested Wednesday afternoon. Jurors will begin deliberating this morning.

Molly Moorhead can be reached at moorhead@sptimes.com or (727) 869-6245.

Joseph Coleman's lawyer says kidnapping investigation wasn't thorough 11/04/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, November 4, 2009 8:59pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Jones: Stop talking and start building a new Rays stadium

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — It was good to see Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred at Tropicana Field on Wednesday, talking Rays baseball and the hope for a new stadium somewhere in Tampa Bay.

    Commissioner Rob Manfred is popular with the media on a visit to Tropicana Field.
  2. Ousted to political Siberia by Corcoran, Kathleen Peters sets sights on Pinellas Commission

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — The perks of power in Tallahassee are a coveted chairmanship, a Capitol office in a prime location and a prominent seat on the House floor. Now Rep. Kathleen Peters has lost all three, but here's the twist: Her trip to "Siberia" might actually help her reach the next step on the Tampa Bay political …

    Rep. Kathleen Peters, R-South Pasadena, has been relegated to the back row in the State House chamber, moved to a fouth floor office and stripped of her job as chairwoman of a House subcommittee after a series of disagreements with House Speaker Richard Corcoran. [SCOTT KEELER | Tampa Bay Times]
  3. What do kids need to stay away from deadly auto theft epidemic?

    Public Safety

    ST. PETERSBURG — More than a dozen black teenagers told U.S. Congressman Charlie Crist on Wednesday that children need stronger mentors and youth programs to steer clear of the auto theft epidemic plaguing Pinellas County.

    Congressman Charlie Crist (center) listens as Shenyah Ruth (right), a junior at Northeast High School, talks during Wednesday's youth roundtable meeting with community leaders and kids. They met to discuss the ongoing car theft epidemic among Pinellas youth and how law enforcement, elected officials, and community organizations can work together to put an end to this dangerous trend. [DIRK SHADD   |   Times]
  4. Manhattan Casino choice causes political headache for Kriseman

    Growth

    ST. PETERSBURG — Days before the mayoral primary, Mayor Rick Kriseman's decision to let a Floribbean restaurant open in Midtown's historic Manhattan Casino has caused political angst within the voting bloc he can least afford to lose: the black community.

    Last week Mayor Rick Kriseman chose a Floribbean restaurant concept to fill Midtown's historic Manhattan Casino. But that decision, made days before next week's mayoral primary, has turned into a political headache for the mayor. Many residents want to see the building's next tenant better reflect its cultural significance in the black community. [JAMES BORCHUCK   |   Times]
  5. Bucs talk social issues, protests at team meeting

    Bucs

    TAMPA — Each time Dirk Koetter walks through the door of his office at One Buc Place, he passes by the only jersey framed on his wall.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans (13) wears custom cleats to represent Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality (RISE) as part of the NFL???‚??„?s "My Cause, My Cleats Campaign" before the start of a football game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, Calif., on Sunday, Dec. 4, 2016.