Surf Instructor Accused of Killing Children With Speargun Will Not Face Death Penalty
Matthew Taylor Coleman, a former surf instructor in Santa Barbara, California, will not face the death penalty for allegedly killing his two young children with a spearfishing gun while in Rosarito, Baja California, in August 2021. The Federal prosecutors have filed a motion stating they will not seek the death penalty against Coleman, who believed that his children’s blood was tainted with lizard DNA. Instead, he is charged with the foreign murder of U.S. nationals according to the U.S. attorney’s office.
The Tragic Incident
Coleman’s wife contacted the police and expressed concerns about the safety of her children after he took them to Mexico. Coleman, who believed in QAnon conspiracy theories, confessed to killing his 2-year-old boy and 10-month-old girl because he suspected his wife carried serpent DNA and had passed it on to their kids, who he believed would grow up to be “monster lizard people.”
The toddlers were found dead under some bushes by a laborer at an isolated ranch near Rosarito, located about 30 miles south of the border. Baja California investigators reported that each child had also been stabbed more than a dozen times with a wooden stake.
Coleman’s Mental Evaluation
Coleman had been going through a six-month mental evaluation to determine his competency to understand the charges against him. The reasons why prosecutors will not seek the death penalty against him have not been made public, and the decision-making process is confidential.
The U.S. Attorneys Office in San Diego has stated that information concerning the deliberative process may only be disclosed within the department and its investigative agencies as necessary to assist the review and decision-making process.
No Death Penalty
The decision not to seek the death penalty has sparked a debate among legal experts and the general public. Some have argued that Coleman’s mental state, his belief in conspiracy theories, and the gruesome nature of the crime should have been considered in deciding whether to seek the death penalty.
Others have pointed out that the U.S. has had a moratorium on the death penalty for federal crimes since 2020, which could be a factor in the decision. According to the Death Penalty Information Center, there are currently 46 prisoners on federal death row, but President Biden has pledged to end the federal death penalty.
The Lovewater Surf Company
Coleman owned Lovewater Surf Company in Santa Barbara, which he founded in 2007. The company offers surf lessons and camps, paddleboard and kayak rentals, and other outdoor activities. According to its website, the company’s mission is to “provide unique, educational, and inspirational ocean experiences that empower people to live healthy, happy lives.” It is unclear what impact the charges against Coleman will have on the company.
The tragic incident involving Matthew Taylor Coleman and his two young children has shocked and saddened many. While prosecutors have decided not to seek the death penalty against him, he still faces serious charges and a lengthy prison sentence if found guilty. The case highlights the importance of mental health awareness and the dangers of believing in conspiracy theories, which can have devastating consequences for individuals and their loved ones.
It remains to be seen how the case will unfold and what impact it will have on the family, the surf community, and the broader society. XDFINISH