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Violent criminal given life in prison for arson & aggravated assault

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William "Chad" Coleman, 41, of Frisco, Texas, was sentenced to life in prison for Arson of a Habitation and Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon in Frisco, announced Collin County District Attorney Greg Willis.

Coleman pleaded guilty to a dozen crimes at his trial. Evidence showed that in March 2013, Coleman threatened his fiancé with a gun while chasing her in his vehicle. When she fled to the Frisco Police Department, Coleman returned to her home and killed her chihuahua with a wire coat hanger, injured her mastiff by striking him in the head, and set her house on fire. About a month prior to that, he threatened her with a shotgun, which he was prohibited from having since he was a convicted felon. 

While on bond for the above charges, in February 2014, Coleman went on a crime spree through Plano, Carrollton, Frisco, Princeton, and McKinney. Coleman stole a 2012 Toyota Camry from Plano and credit cards from residents of Carrollton to make fraudulent purchases. Coleman stole a bright green 2014 Jeep Wrangler from a Frisco neighborhood. He also broke into a house in the same neighborhood and painted the Jeep black. The owner of the Jeep located Coleman by following his footprints in the snow and when he arrived at the burglarized house, Coleman set the Toyota Camry on fire and threatened the Jeep's owner with a gun. Coleman drove to Princeton where he displayed the gun to a patron at a gas station and then led police on a high speed chase on icy roads through Princeton and McKinney. He eventually crashed the Jeep, fled the scene, and broke into a McKinney residence, where he was found hiding in the attic.   

Coleman was previously convicted of felony Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon in Dallas County in 2005. In that offense, Coleman attacked a former girlfriend with a hammer, striking her multiple times on the head and body in a public parking lot on Mockingbird Lane. He was sentenced to four years in prison. Coleman was a Dallas firefighter at that time. Coleman has a tattoo of a hammer on his neck that he alleged is a reminder of this past incident. 

In a guilty plea to the jury, Coleman pleaded guilty to all 12 offenses. After hearing evidence in each of the cases as well as evidence of his prior prison trip, the jury sentenced Coleman to life in prison for Arson of a Habitation and Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon of his former girlfriend. Multiple prison sentences were assessed by the jury for Animal Cruelty, Unlawful Possession of a Firearm by a Felon, Auto Theft, Arson of a Vehicle, Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle, Burglary of a Habitation, Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon of the Jeep owner, Evading Arrest with a Motor Vehicle, and Credit Card Abuse. All sentences assessed by the jury will run concurrently.

Assistant Criminal District Attorneys Lindsey Wynne and Paul Anfosso prosecuted the cases and were assisted by District Attorney Investigator Keith Henslee. The cases were investigated by the Frisco Police Department, Frisco Fire Department, and the Princeton Police Department with assistance from Plano, Carrollton, and McKinney police departments, as some offenses began in those jurisdictions. Judge Andy Chatham presided over the cases.

This news release is distributed on behalf of the District Attorney; please refer any questions to Bill Dobiyanski, 972-548-4335.