RIDGELAND, Miss. (WLBT) - The controversy surrounding the death of Christian Andreacchio in 2014 is well known now. Was it suicide? Was it a homicide? Did authorities do enough to determine the truth?
The Andreacchio family filed suit in Kemper County on Friday, alleging that District Attorney Kassie Coleman is not a legal resident in her district.
Usually lawsuits like this are brought by other candidates, but Evans says it can be brought by voters as well. We caught up with Lawrence County attorney Jared Evans, who is representing the Andreacchios, off the clock here in Ridgeland Monday afternoon.
“The statute is plain on election contest that any person is able to challenge the election itself, and, in this particular situation, the residency requirement, it doesn’t have to be the particular candidate," he said. "It can be anyone in the district who was aggrieved by the process.”
“She’s been homesteaded in Georgia for some time and hasn’t moved it over to Mississippi and case law counsels that that’s a significant issue,” said Evans.
Evans was alluding to the fact that Coleman’s husband lives in Georgia along with their daughters - her stepdaughters - and she lives in a home in Mississippi that her parents own.
Coleman said she and her husband are living separately until their daughters, now 14 and 17, are out of school.
“I don’t claim homestead anywhere, he claims homestead there," she said. "I live here, my husband lives in Georgia and we’re trying to make it through doing the right thing by raising our girls and being there as much as we can and having them here as much as we can when they’re not in school.”
Coleman said she knows the Andreacchios know she lives in Lauderdale County because they can see each other’s homes from where they currently live.
“We live at a lake and we live across a cove from each other. For all practical purposes if we both stood on our pier we could wave each other. I can see their back porch from my back porch and vice-versa,” she said.
Coleman said she dealt with the Secretary of State’s office on these issues prior to the election and has submitted a lot of documentation to prove her point.
As the Christian Andreacchio death investigation has grown in popularity, it has led to a lot of speculation and internet rumors, and some believe the Andreacchios have Coleman in their sights because they take issue with local law enforcement’s handling of their son’s case.
Evans says he can't speak to any speculation about personal beefs between the Andreacchios and the District Attorney's office.
“I personally know very little about anything outside the context of this particular suit, so I can’t say a lot about the dynamic between the family and the District Attorney elect.”