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Eliza Fletcher suspect Cleotha Abston served twenty years for kidnapping a prosecutor: docs

The suspect charged with snatching Tennessee heiress Eliza Fletcher was accused of rape as a teen and previously served 20 years for violently kidnapping a prosecutor, in accordance with court public records.

Cleotha Abston, 38, includes a juvenile record dating back to to when he was just 12 with charges including aggravated assault with a weapon and rape, in accordance with court public records obtained by the Memphis Commercial Appeal.

He was still only 16 when he kidnapped Memphis-based prosecutor Kemper Durand at gunpoint in the first hours of May 25, 2000, reports from enough time show. Durand had testified that only luck had saved him from being killed that day.

Memphis-based prosecutor Kemper Durand, who died in 2013.
Abston was only 16 when he kidnapped former prosecutor Kemper Durand at gunpoint in 2000.

Abston held a gun at Kempers face and demanded his car keys and forced him in to the trunk, Durands former lawyer, Lewison Thomason, recalled within an obit following the attorneys death 13 years later.

For another a long time, Kemper was trapped in the cold darkness of his car trunk, as Abston and a straight younger teen with him drove the automobile through the entire city, the firms obit recalled.

Every once in awhile, the automobile would stop. The men would open the trunk, pull Kemper out, make him withdraw money from an ATM machine, the obit said.

It had been only after a long time that the attorney spotted an armed security guard near among the ATMs, the report said.

Kemper yelled for help and his attackers fled, the document noted.

Abston was later convicted of aggravated robbery, along with especially aggravated kidnapping the latter being 1 of 2 charges he was again hit with Sunday for allegedly abducting Fletcher, the 34-year-old teacher and hardware heiress who had still not been found Monday.

He was sentenced in 2001 to serve 24 years in prison and Durand fought for him to stay locked up when he tried to challenge the sentence, in accordance with records obtained by the Commercial Appeal.

My feelings about being the victim of the crime, and the feelings of these around me, are that I was extremely lucky that I could escape from the custody of Cleotha Abston, the attorney wrote in a victim impact statement objecting to the 2003 bid, the paper noted.

It had been very fortunate an armed, uniformed Memphis Housing Authority guard happened to encounter them, he reportedly wrote.

It really is most probably that I’d have already been killed had I not escaped.

It had been for the reason that impact statement that Durand detailed Abstons record, noting how he previously appeared in juvenile court public records in 1996, 1997, 1998 and 1999. The report didn’t detail if he was convicted or just what resulted in the charges, like the alleged rape.

Durand also ripped Abston when planning on taking greater than a year to sign aguilty plea, citing the refusal as jailhouse braggadocio, the records reportedly said.

In sharp contrast, Durand had testified with respect to Abstons co-accused, Marquette Cobbins, to get him a lighter sentence, his lawyer noted.

As Kemper saw it, the person was at the incorrect place with the incorrect person at the incorrect time, his lawyer said, making clear that the late attorney always viewed Abston as his sole kidnapper.

He testified to hearing Cobbins begging Abston to avoid the automobile, let this man out, give him his keys, and go!

After his appeal, the judge decided to give Cobbins the lightest possible sentence, the obit said. He was sentenced to seven-and-a-half years and was qualified to receive parole after 18 months, the Memphis Flyer noted at the time.

Eliza Fletcher jogging before she was violently abducted Friday.
Tennessee teacher and hardware heiress Eliza Fletcher was snatched Friday during her regular 4 a.m. jog.
Tennessee Bureau of Investigatio

Durand died in early February 2013. Abston premiered in November 2020, the Commercial Appeal said.

He will not may actually have any documented charges against him within the last 2 yrs in the Memphis area although neighbors called him creepy and a pervert, saying he’d offer them money for sex.

He was busted Sunday after DNA testing on a set of sandals left at the website of Fletchers abduction, with video later showing him allegedly violently abducting mother during her daily morning hours jog.

His phone also put him at the scene, and video showed he previously been stalking the region for at the very least 24 minutes before Fletcher was grabbed, in accordance with an affidavit.

Before his arrest, he was also seen washing the within of his work SUV and scrubbing his clothes while acting very strange, based on the document.

Abston, 38, has been held on a $500,000 bond on charges of tampering with evidence andespecially aggravated kidnapping. His arraignment is scheduled for Tuesday.

He declined to supply investigators with the positioning of the victim, the affidavit said because the huge seek out Fletcher continued Monday.

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