SANTA BARBARA, Calif. -- A Santa Barbara man charged with the murder of his two young children pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Matthew Taylor Coleman's not-guilty plea was officially entered Wednesday morning in a San Diego Federal courtroom.
Coleman, 40, took his 2-year-old son and 10-month-old daughter to Rosarito, Mexico, on Aug. 9 where he allegedly killed them with a spearfishing gun. While questioned by law enforcement, Coleman told investigators he killed his children because they were "turning into monsters" and possessed serpent DNA. He also allegedly told investigators he was "enlightened" by QAnon and Illuminati conspiracy theories and was receiving visions and signs.
Coleman will be represented by the Federal Public Defender for the Central District of California and will be housed in the San Diego district.
He was indicted by a Federal Grand Jury earlier this month. The indictments charge Coleman with two counts of foreign first-degree murder of United States nationals. By law, these charges are eligible for the death penalty.
The government moved for Coleman to remain in detention, arguing that he was both a flight risk and a danger to others or himself. His defense said they were not seeking bail at this time.
Coleman's next hearing will be scheduled for Nov. 5 at the U.S. District Court Southern District of California in San Diego.