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Tara Lintz and Christopher Coleman
Tara Lintz, in a high school photo, and Christopher Coleman after his arrest.

A Florida judge ordered Tara Lintz, the St. Petersburg woman at the center of the Christopher Coleman murder case, to testify at the trial next month in Monroe County, according to online court records.

Police allege that Coleman wanted to start a new life with Lintz without seeking a divorce that might have cost him his career as televangelist Joyce Meyer's bodyguard. He is accused of strangling his wife and two young sons in their beds at their Columbia, Ill. home in May 2009.

Lintz's testimony is considered crucial to the prosecution. Prosecutors say they will show a jury sexually explicit homemade videos and images exchanged between Christopher Coleman and Lintz.

On Thursday, Pinellas-Pasco Chief Judge Thomas McGrady granted an out-of-state witness request by Monroe County State's Attorney Kris Reitz.

The St. Petersburg Times reports Lintz told McGrady she didn't want to leave Florida to testify because she didn't want to miss work and didn't want to be bothered by the media.

Lintz also implied that she feared for her safety because of the high profile nature of the case, the newspaper reported. Two detectives will escort her to Illinois, where trial testimony is set to begin on April 25.

"I just want to stay out of harm's way," Lintz told McGrady. "I really don't want to go but I don't think I have a choice."


Get updates on the Coleman trial by following reporter Nicholas J.C. Pistor on Twitter at www.twitter.com/nickpistor

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