Cleotha Abston, 38, received a second indictment at a hearing on Thursday that saw a judge deny her bail for her alleged role in Fletcher's death.  The new charges appeared on the Shelby County Criminal Justice Portal the next day.

The man who ‘murdered’ heiress Eliza Fletcher has been charged with raping and kidnapping another woman

The man accused of kidnapping and murdering billionaire heiress Eliza Fetcher has been charged with an unrelated kidnapping and rape that took place a year earlier thanks to DNA evidence compiled during his last arrest.

Cleotha Abston, 38, received a second indictment at a hearing on Thursday that saw a judge deny her bail for her alleged role in Fletcher’s death. The new charges appeared on the Shelby County Criminal Justice Portal the following day.

Abston was arrested on Tuesday – less than a day after detectives found Fletcher’s body – but was reclassified on Friday on new charges of aggravated rape, specifically aggravated kidnapping and unlawful carrying of a weapon.

Memphis police said the new charges stemmed from a rape kit sent to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation in September 2021, when an unidentified woman filed the alleged crimes with police.

The DNA sample from the kit was stored in evidence until a match was flagged in the system, nearly a year later.

It wasn’t until September 2, 2022, after Abston was arrested for the alleged murder of Fletcher, that there was a hit in the DNA database – and the criminal was subsequently re-hired.

Cleotha Abston, 38, received a second indictment at a hearing on Thursday that saw a judge deny her bail for her alleged role in Fletcher’s death. The new charges appeared on the Shelby County Criminal Justice Portal the next day.

Abston was arrested on Tuesday - less than a day after detectives found Fletcher's body - but was reclassified on Friday on new charges of aggravated rape, specifically aggravated kidnapping and unlawful carrying of a weapon.

Abston was arrested on Tuesday – less than a day after detectives found Fletcher’s body – but was reclassified on Friday on new charges of aggravated rape, specifically aggravated kidnapping and unlawful carrying of a weapon.

Memphis police confirmed the new charges on Saturday, without providing any additional information about the 2021 case in question – other than confirming that the new charges are unrelated to the Fletcher case.

Memphis police confirmed the new charges on Saturday, without providing any additional information about the 2021 case in question – other than confirming that the new charges are unrelated to the Fletcher case.

It wasn't until September 2, 2022, when Abston was arrested for Fletcher's alleged murder, that there was a hit in the DNA database - and the criminal was subsequently re-hired.

It wasn’t until September 2, 2022, when Abston was arrested for Fletcher’s alleged murder, that there was a hit in the DNA database – and the criminal was subsequently re-hired.

A 38-year-old career criminal who served 20 years in prison for kidnapping, Cleotha Abston had been charged with first-degree murder and above all aggravated kidnapping of Fletcher, the 34-year-old heiress of the $3 billion Orgill Hardware company. dollars.

A 38-year-old career criminal who served 20 years in prison for kidnapping, Cleotha Abston had been charged with first-degree murder and above all aggravated kidnapping of Fletcher, the 34-year-old heiress of the $3 billion Orgill Hardware company. dollars.

Memphis mum-of-two Eliza Fletcher, 34 (pictured with her husband and two young sons) was kidnapped after being forced into a black SUV on Friday  Cleotha Abston, 38, has been charged with her abduction and murder after her body was found in tall grass against an abandoned house

Memphis mum-of-two Eliza Fletcher, 34 (pictured with her husband and two young sons) was kidnapped after being forced into a black SUV on Friday Cleotha Abston, 38, has been charged with her abduction and murder after her body was found in tall grass against an abandoned house

The Memphis Police Department said in a statement, “An official CODIS (National DNA Database) result was not received until after the unfortunate event that occurred on September 2, 2022.

“Probable cause to physically arrest any suspect did not exist until the CODIS key was received.”

The rape kit was sent to the investigative office two days after the crime allegedly took place on September 21, 2021, Commercial Appeal reported.

A TBI spokesperson confirmed the dates. However, they noted that the evidence against Abston was placed in a “kit queue of unknown assailants, as no requests were made to expedite the TBI analysis, and no suspicious information or DNA standard was included in the bid”.

Abston is a career criminal who served 20 years in prison for another kidnapping, in this case a man.

Memphis police confirmed the new charges Saturday, without providing any additional information about the 2021 case in question — other than confirming that the new charges are unrelated to the Fletcher case.

He had been charged with first-degree murder and more importantly the aggravated kidnapping of Fletcher, a 34-year-old kindergarten teacher who was out on her routine morning jog on Friday September 5 in Memphis, Tennessee, when she was caught on camera being forced into a black SUV.

Abston appeared in court in Memphis on Thursday, where he was charged with first-degree murder, kidnapping and tampering with evidence – with the judge again denying him bail until another hearing on September 19.

Jennifer Case, his public defender, initially argued there was a conflict of interest in representing him, as his office had worked with him in a previous criminal case in the early 2000s.

However, the case was dismissed by the judge, Louis Montesi Jr, although he agreed to hear his arguments for a gag order at a later hearing.

Case argued aspects of the case should not be made public after Memphis Police Chief CJ David called Abston a “dangerous predator”.

Tennessee is a death penalty state and prosecutors said Thursday they would not rule him out if convicted.

Abston wore a prison-issued green uniform and mask and spoke to his public defender only during the brief hearing.

Eliza Fletcher, 34, was last seen around 4:20 a.m. Friday while jogging in Memphis and a man approached her and forced her into an SUV after a brief struggle, police said.

The last known image of Fletcher shows her jogging early on Friday

Fletcher was last seen around 4.20am Friday while jogging (right) in Memphis and a man approached her and forced her into an SUV after a brief struggle, police said.

Fletcher pictured with her husband Richie and their two children.  The family described her as a 'special' woman who was taken from them in a 'senseless' way

Fletcher pictured with her husband Richie and their two children. The family described her as a ‘special’ woman who was taken from them in a ‘senseless’ way

Abston has been known to law enforcement since he was 11 years old.

Now 38, he was just 11 when he first appeared in Shelby County Juvenile Court charged with theft of property of $500 or less. Court documents reveal he was later convicted of raping a man as a teenager and was taken into the custody of the Shelby County Youth Services Office.

He was detained 16 times from October 1995 to May 2000 for rape, aggravated assault and illegal possession of a weapon.

According to Action News 5, his first charges were filed against him in June 1995, and that he was part of the ‘LMG’ gang – which stands for ‘Lemoyne Gardens Gangstas’.

Two weeks after being released from the youth services office into the care of his mother, he was transferred to adult court for 2000 kidnapping lawyer Kemper Durand – who worked at the same firm lawyers as Fletcher’s uncle, Michael Keeney.

Abston was only 16 when he and an accomplice kidnapped Durand, dumped him in his own safe and attempted to force him to withdraw cash from a gas station ATM.

In his victim impact statement, Durand, who died in 2013, said he feared for his life during his abduction, where he was rescued by a nearby Memphis Housing Authority guard who heard his plea help, reported the Commercial Appeal.

“It is very probable that I would have been killed if I had not escaped,” writes Durand.

Abston was sentenced to 22 years in prison for the offence, but was released in early 2020, only to be kidnapped again two years later.

Ex-FBI officer Jennifer Coffindaffer told NewsNation she condemns the decision to release Abston two years earlier, saying keeping him in prison would have prevented Fletcher’s death.

“Any time someone gets released early and goes on to commit another violent crime, yes, I think society is abandoned,” she said. “I think we’re all disappointed with his early release.”

Coffindaffer also said Durand’s connection to Fletcher’s uncle is a “very significant clue”.

“I’m sure the FBI, the US Marshals and the TBI are looking closely at this relationship,” she said.

The man who ‘murdered’ heiress Eliza Fletcher has been charged with raping and kidnapping another woman

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