The QAnon-spewing California dad accused of killing his two young children with a spearfishing gun in Mexico because he thought they had “serpent DNA” has been indicted, federal officials said Wednesday.
Matthew Taylor Coleman, 40, was indicted by a federal grand jury on two counts of foreign first-degree murder of U.S. nationals, making him eligible for the death penalty if convicted, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of California announced.
Coleman was previously charged by complaint in California’s Central District, where he’s due to make his first court appearance Thursday before the case moves south to San Diego where the indictment was returned, officials said.
The married surf school owner allegedly kidnapped his 2-year-old son and 10-month-old daughter from the family’s home in Santa Barbara on Aug. 7, authorities previously said. He drove the children over the border in a Mercedes Sprinter until he reached Rosarito, in Baja California, according to court paperwork.
It was in the coastal resort town that Coleman allegedly stabbed the children in their chests with the spearfishing gun and hid their bodies in some brush, an FBI affidavit filed in the grisly case states.
In an interview with the FBI after he was apprehended crossing back into the U.S., Coleman allegedly claimed “he was enlightened by QAnon and Illuminati conspiracy theories and was receiving visions and signs” about his wife.
“Coleman said that he was saving the world from monsters,” the FBI agent who submitted the probable cause affidavit told the court.
He allegedly told the agent his wife “had serpent DNA and may have been passing it on to his children.”
It was the wife who contacted Santa Barbara Police on Aug. 7 and filed the missing persons report that led to Coleman’s apprehension.
Coleman allegedly confessed to the murders in an Aug. 9 interview, the FBI said.
“There are no words to describe the profound grief that envelops an entire community when a child is murdered,” Acting U.S. Attorney Randy Grossman said in a statement Wednesday. “The Department of Justice is determined to achieve justice for these victims and their loved ones.”
The maximum penalties in the case are death or life and a fine up to $250,000. The Attorney General will decide whether to seek the death penalty at a later date.
“The murder of a child is difficult to understand under any circumstances,” Kristi K. Johnson, assistant director in charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles field office, said. “I’m proud of the quick investigative efforts by FBI Agents, the Santa Barbara Police Department, U.S. Customs and Border Protection and our Mexican counterparts which led to the arrest of Mr. Coleman as he entered the United States, and I look forward to delivering justice for the young victims and their family.”