Eliza Fletcher, a mother of two and a kindergarten teacher, was killed in what Shelby County District Attorney Steven Mulroy (D), a supporter of far-left jailbreak policies, calls an “isolated attack by a stranger.”
Fletcher was taken away from the University of Memphis campus where she was jogging last Friday at around 4:20 p.m. by someone driving a dark-colored GMC Terrain. Nearly 7.5 miles from the scene of her kidnapping, her body was found on Monday evening. The next morning, a law enforcement officer verified her death.
Cleotha Abston, a 38-year-old convicted criminal, is accused of kidnapping and killing Fletcher. Abston is scheduled to appear in court once more on Thursday after being arraigned before a judge on Wednesday.
However, Abston has a lengthy criminal history that dates back to 1995, when he was only 12. According to court records obtained by the Memphis Commercial Appeal, Abston appeared in court on felony charges in 1996, 1997, 1998, and 1999 for “theft, rape, aggravated assault, aggravated assault with a weapon.”
Abston, who was 16 at the time, and his accomplice Marquette Cobbins kidnapped Memphis-based attorney Kemper Durand in 2000 and pushed him into the rear trunk of a car.
Abston instructed Durand to use an ATM while he was being taken to a Mapco fueling station. Durand yelled for assistance as armed Memphis Housing Authority security entered the station at the same moment.
The two kidnappers fled, but they were both apprehended later and found guilty of taking Durand. Durand testified in court during the trial that Abston was the primary organizer of the kidnapping, and Cobbins begged for him to release the lawyer.
Cobbins received a reduced sentence from the judge of seven and a half years in jail, and he became eligible for parole after 18 months. Abston was given a 24-year prison sentence in 2000, however, after serving 20 years of that sentence, he was freed on parole.
In Memphis, Tennessee, Cleotha Abston is charged with kidnapping and killing Eliza Fletcher.
Mulroy claimed that the Shelby County DA’s Office disapproved of Abston’s early parole release from prison, but he disagrees with the state’s “Truth in Sentencing” law, which went into effect this year and calls for violent offenders like Abston to serve out their entire sentences as opposed to being released early on parole.
Mulroy has also stated that he favours improvements to bail laws that are comparable to those in New York City, where suspected criminals are swiftly freed from custody without ever having to post bail.
In a July interview, Mulroy said, “We need to change the existing quo where hundreds and hundreds of individuals languish in jail… who have not been found guilty of any crime, sometimes nonviolent charges, for no other reason than they can’t pay cash bail.”
Real Justice PAC was established by socialist activist Becky Bond, BlackLivesMatter leader Shaun King, and others to promote Mulroy-style politicians who oppose cash bail and advocate “restorative justice” over longer jail terms.