Police charge man in killings of Garland woman, 2 children

Maine State police and funeral employees prepare to remove the bodies of a women and her two children from their home on Paul Road in Garland Sunday.

BANGOR — Maine State Police detectives Sunday night charged a man taken into custody about 3 p.m. in Bucksport in the deaths of a Garland woman and her two children, according to a news release from Maine Department of Public Safety spokesman Stephen McCausland.

Keith Coleman, 27, has been charged with three counts of murder.

He lived with the woman in a trailer at 12 Paul Road, according to McCausland.

Coleman was taken to the Penobscot County Jail, according to the release, and is scheduled to appear in court Monday or Tuesday.

The victims were identified as Christina Sargent, 36; her son, Duwayne Coke, 10; and her daughter, Destiny Sargent, 8.

The bodies were removed at about 12:45 p.m. Sunday from the trailer where the family lived and were taken to the state medical examiner’s office in Augusta for autopsy. The autopsies were scheduled to take place Monday, McCausland said in a news release Sunday night. Detectives plan to continue their investigation at the mobile home Monday, McCausland said late Sunday night.

Two of the bodies were discovered inside the trailer by a relative who became concerned about the family’s welfare, McCausland said Sunday night. Deputies with the Penobscot County Sheriff’s Office found the third body after arriving at the scene about 9:50 p.m. Saturday.

State police announced Sunday morning that they were looking for Coleman and the 2006 Dodge Caravan he was believed to be driving. Coleman was located that afternoon at a friend’s Central Street apartment in Bucksport, McCausland said.

He was taken into custody as he left the apartment and began to get into the van. The vehicle was seized by police, the spokesman said.

Coleman and Sargent had lived together in Maine and Minnesota since January 2012, according to Amanda Ellis, 29, who said she had a 3-year-old daughter with Coleman. Ellis said Sunday that she and Sargent were cousins.

Ellis also said that Coleman has a history of domestic violence. Ellis, who lives out of state, asked that her location not be published. She said that shortly after she learned of the deaths from her brother at about 2 a.m. Sunday, local police removed Ellis and her children from her home for safety reasons while police searched for Coleman.

Ellis said that when she lived with him, Coleman tried to strangle her on more than one occasion and threatened her with a knife at least twice.

She said she reported the incidents to police.

He was taken to the Penobscot County Jail in 2011 and again on March 28, 2013, after being arrested on warrants, according to jail personnel. Information about why warrants were issued for his arrest was not available Sunday.

Coleman’s only conviction in Maine was in October 2011 in Newport for cultivating marijuana, a misdemeanor. He was fined $400 in connection with the July 7, 2010, incident, according to a criminal background check report obtained from the Maine State Bureau of Identification.

The report lists his address on Oct. 28, 2011, as 12 Paul Road in Garland.

Ellis described Coleman, whom she met in 2007, as “aggressive and very manipulative.”

Ellis said she had not seen or spoken to her cousin in several years. She last had contact with Coleman in March. Both appeared by telephone at a court hearing in Maine on Dec. 16 in an effort to establish paternity of the child Ellis said she had with Coleman.

The trailer is one of the first residences on Paul Road off Avenue Road in Garland. The home is about 6 miles from the downtown Dexter, according to mapquest.com.