Matthew Taylor Coleman, a 42-year-old California surf instructor accused of killing his two young children in Mexico with a spearfishing gun, has been found incompetent to stand trial. U.S. District Judge Cathy Ann Bencivengo ordered Coleman to be committed for treatment on October 11, with a competency hearing set for March 8, 2024. This decision halts the criminal proceedings against him.
Coleman faced charges for the foreign murder of U.S. nationals, pertaining to the deaths of his 2-year-old son, Kaleo, and 10-month-old daughter, Roxy, on August 9, 2021, in Mexico. He has entered a not guilty plea.
Charging documents suggest Coleman told authorities he was influenced by QAnon conspiracy theories, believing his children had “serpent DNA” and required extermination to save the world. A federal grand jury indicted him in September 2021. Subsequently, he underwent psychological assessments. By February 2023, federal prosecutors opted not to seek the death penalty.
According to reports, Coleman took his children from Santa Barbara, California, into Mexico on August 7, 2021. Two days later, it’s alleged he led them to a ranch, killed them with a spearfishing gun, and later returned to his hotel. He was apprehended while trying to re-enter the U.S.
An FBI complaint highlights that Coleman admitted to his actions, stating he recognized they were wrong, but believed they were necessary for global salvation.
Previously reviewed affidavits reveal Coleman’s wife, Abby, described how he grew increasingly paranoid, influenced by QAnon conspiracy theories. Text exchanges between the couple on the day of the children’s deaths were cited, revealing a concerned Abby messaging her husband to care for the kids. She reported him and the children missing, leading to his arrest while trying to return to California.
Local authorities reported that a farmer discovered the children’s remains in a remote Baja California ranch, approximately 60 miles south of San Diego, shortly after their deaths.