Man Charged In Jogger Abduction Kidnapped Attorney In 2000

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — The antheral charged with kidnapping a Tennessee pistillate jogging adjacent the University of Memphis past week spent 20 years down bars for a erstwhile kidnapping.

U.S. Marshals arrested 38-year-old Cleotha Abston connected Saturday aft constabulary detected his DNA connected a brace of sandals recovered adjacent to wherever Eliza Fletcher was past seen, according to an apprehension affidavit. Police besides linked the conveyance they judge was utilized successful the kidnapping to a idiosyncratic astatine a residence wherever Abston was staying.

While Fletcher has not been found, Memphis constabulary said successful the affidavit they judge she was earnestly injured successful the abduction, which was caught connected surveillance video. Authorities person said Fletcher, 34, was jogging astir 4 a.m. connected Friday erstwhile a antheral approached her and forced her into an SUV aft a little struggle. Fletcher was reported missing erstwhile she did not instrumentality location that morning.

Late Monday, constabulary tweeted that a assemblage had been recovered successful a Memphis vicinity but that the individuality of that idiosyncratic and the origin of decease was unconfirmed. The tweet made nary notation to the Fletcher case, saying lone that the probe was ongoing. A ample constabulary beingness was reported successful the country wherever authorities reported uncovering the assemblage conscionable aft 5 p.m., section quality reports said.

Cleotha Abston was charged with kidnapping a Tennessee pistillate   jogging adjacent   the University of Memphis past  week.
Cleotha Abston was charged with kidnapping a Tennessee pistillate jogging adjacent the University of Memphis past week.

AP

Abston antecedently kidnapped a salient Memphis lawyer successful 2000, the Commercial Appeal reported. When helium was conscionable 16 years old, Abston forced Kemper Durand into the trunk of his ain car astatine gunpoint. After respective hours, Abston took Durand retired and forced him to thrust to a Mapco state presumption to retreat wealth from an ATM. At the station, an equipped Memphis Housing Authority defender walked successful and Durand yelled for help. Abston ran distant but was recovered and arrested. He pleaded blameworthy successful 2001 to particularly aggravated kidnapping and aggravated robbery, according to tribunal records. He received a 24-year sentence.

Durand, successful a unfortunate interaction statement, wrote, “I was highly fortunate that I was capable to flight from the custody of Cleotha Abston. ...It is rather apt that I would person been killed had I not escaped,” the Commercial Appeal reported. Durand noted that it took implicit a twelvemonth for Abston to motion the blameworthy plea, calling the refusal “jailhouse braggadocio.”

Durand besides elaborate Abston’s lengthy past successful the juvenile tribunal system. In the years earlier the kidnapping, Abston had been charged with theft, aggravated assault, aggravated battle with a weapon, and rape, according to Durand’s statement.

Durand died successful 2013, 7 years earlier Abston would beryllium released successful November 2020 astatine property 36. In the 2 years since his release, determination were nary further documented charges against Abston successful Shelby County anterior to his Saturday arrest, the Commercial Appeal reported.

Online tribunal records bash not amusement if Abston has a lawyer who tin remark connected his behalf. An arraignment has been acceptable for Tuesday.

Fletcher is the granddaughter of the precocious Joseph Orgill III, a Memphis hardware businessman and philanthropist. The household has released a video connection asking for assistance successful uncovering Fletcher and offered a $50,000 reward for accusation successful the case.

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