Attorneys requested a delay of six months in the federal criminal case against the Santa Barbara man accused of driving his two young children to Mexico and killing them during the summer.

Citing an enormous amount of evidence in the case against Matthew Taylor Coleman, 40, attorneys for both the prosecution and the defense have asked for the postponement, in a motion filed last week in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California.

A hearing on the proposed delay — until May 2022 — is scheduled for Friday in San Diego.

The motion, pertaining to the discovery phase of the case, notes that the prosecution already has turned over “about 42.5 gigabytes of data to the defense that includes reports by state and federal agencies, audio and video recordings (including body camera recordings and recordings of activity at primary and secondary inspection from the San Ysidro Port of Entry), transcripts, photographs, subpoenaed records, and legal pleadings.”

In addition, investigators are still searching a computer, two phones and an iPad for evidence in the case.

The motion further states that “the case is also unusually complex because of the nature of the prosecution, potential penalty, and potential mental-health defense.”

A federal grand jury on Sept. 8 indicted Coleman on two counts of foreign first-degree murder of United States nationals, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Coleman allegedly confessed to federal authorities that he drove his two children — Kaleo, 3, and Roxy, 10 months — to Mexico and killed them with a spearfishing gun in early August.

The maximum penalty for the alleged charges, if Coleman is found guilty, would be the death penalty or life in prison, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Coleman is being represented by the federal Public Defender’s Office, according to court documents, and remains in federal custody. 

As Noozhawk previously reported, Coleman left Santa Barbara with the children on Aug. 7 in a Mercedes Sprinter van and drove to the town of Rosarito south of Tijuana, according to the FBI. 

His wife, Abby, reported Coleman and the children missing later that day, saying that he did not tell her where he was going, and was not answering her text messages. She initially indicated that she didn’t think the children were in danger.

Two days later, at the urging of Santa Barbara police investigators, Coleman’s wife tracked him to Mexico using his phone.

He was intercepted at the border by FBI agents as he returned to the United States, and the children were not in the van at the time.

That same morning, the bodies of two young children were discovered by Mexican authorities at a ranch near Rosarito. Photos of the children revealed that they had suffered large puncture wounds, according to the affidavit accompanying the criminal complaint.

Coleman was taken into custody after crossing from Tijuana into the United States at the San Ysidro Port of Entry.

The FBI affidavit states that “he believed his children were going to grow into monsters so he had to kill them.”

Coleman further stated that he “was receiving visions and signs revealing that his wife possessed serpent DNA and had passed it on to his children,” according to the affidavit.

Coleman and his wife are founders of the Lovewater Surf School in Santa Barbara.

Friends of Abby Coleman established a GoFundMe campaign, which had raised more than $114,000 as of Monday.

Noozhawk managing editor Giana Magnoli can be reached at Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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Tom Bolton, Noozhawk Executive Editor

Noozhawk executive editor Tom Bolton can be reached at