The man accused of kidnapping and killing billionaire heiress Eliza Fletcher during an early morning jog las week has been indicted with another ‘unrelated’ abduction – one lawmen say occurred in 2021 and saw the suspect rape another woman.
A 38-year-old career criminal who served 20 years in prison for kidnapping, Cleotha Abston had been charged with first degree murder and especially aggravated kidnaping of Fletcher, a 34-year-old kindergarten teacher who had been on her routine morning jog Friday September 5 in Memphis, Tennessee.
Arrested on Tuesday less than a day after detectives found Fletcher’s body, Henderson, 38, was rebooked at the Shelby County Jail on Friday on new charges of aggravated rape, especially aggravated kidnapping and unlawful carrying of a weapon.
The charges appeared in the Shelby County criminal justice portal Friday. The court records show the indictment was handed down Thursday, during a hearing that saw a judge deny Abston bail for his prospective part in the slaying.
Memphis police confirmed the new charges Saturday, without providing any additional information on the 2021 case in question – other than confirmation that the new counts aren’t tied to the Fletcher case.
A 38-year-old career criminal who served 20 years in prison for kidnapping, Cleotha Abston had been charged with first degree murder and especially aggravated kidnaping of Fletcher, the 34-year-old heiress to the $3billion Orgill Hardware company
Fletcher pictured with her husband Richie and their two children. The family described her as a ‘special’ woman who was taken away from them in a ‘senseless’ manner
On Thursday Abston appeared at court in Memphis, Tennessee, charged with first-degree murder, kidnapping and tampering with evidence – with the judge again refusing him bail ahead of another hearing on September 19.
Jennifer Case, his public defender, initially argued that there was a conflict of interest in her representing him as her office had worked with him in a previous criminal matter in the early 2000.
However the matter was dismissed by the judge, Louis Montesi Jr, despite him agreeing to hear her arguments regarding a gag order at a later hearing.
Case argued that certain aspects of the case should not be made public after Memphis Police Chief C.J. David called Abston a ‘dangerous predator’.
Tennessee is a state with the death penalty, and prosecutors on Thursday said that they were not ruling it out if he is convicted.
Abston wore a green prison-issued uniform and a mask and only spoke to his public defender during the short hearing.
Fletcher was last seen about 4.20am on Friday, when she was jogging (right) in Memphis and a man approached her and forced her into an SUV after a brief struggle, police said