A DNA analysis from his latest arrest revealed that the man who was accused of murdering and kidnapping billionaire Eliza Fetcher had been charged with an unrelated kidnapping or rape. 

Cleotha, 38, received a second charge during a Thursday hearing. He was denied bail because of his role in Fletcher’s murder. These new charges were published in the Shelby County criminal justice portal on the following day. 

Abston was detained on Tuesday, just one day after Fletcher’s body was discovered by detectives. He was then rebooked Friday with new charges for aggravated sexual assault, particularly aggravated kidnapping, and unlawful carrying of weapons.

Memphis Police stated that new charges were based on a kit of rape sent to Tennessee Bureau of Investigations in September 2021 by an unidentified female who filed the allegations to police.

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

After Abston’s murder trial, it was September 2, 20,22 that Abston was arrested.

Cleotha Abston, 38, was handed down a second indictment during a Thursday hearing that saw a judge deny him bail for his alleged part in Fletcher's death. The new charges appeared in the Shelby County criminal justice portal the next day

Cleotha Absston (38), was indicted again during Thursday’s hearing. A judge denied him bail due to his involvement in Fletcher’s death. On the same day, the Shelby County criminal justice portal contained the new charges. 

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

Abston was taken into custody on Tuesday, less than 24 hours after Fletcher was found. However, he was booked on Friday for new charges of aggravated and especially aggravated childnapping as well as unlawfully carrying a weapon.

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

Memphis police confirmed that there were new charges on Saturday. They did not give any information beyond confirmation that these new counts weren’t related to Fletcher.

It was only on September 2, 2022, when Abston was arrest for allegedly murdering Fletcher, that there was a hit in the DNA database - and the felon was subsequently rebooked

Abston, who was being held for the murder of Fletcher on September 2, 2022 was arrested. There was then a hit in DNA. The felon was later rebooked

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

Cleotha Absston, 38, is a career criminal that served 20 years prison time for kidnapping. Fletcher was the 34-yearold heir to Orgill Hardware’s $3billion fortune. Cleotha had also been charged in first degree murder. 

Memphis mom 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 kidnap and murder after her body was found in long grass against an abandoned house

Eliza Fletcher (pictured here with her husband, and their two sons), is a mother of two from Memphis. She was forced to drive a black SUV after she kidnapped Friday. After her body was discovered in the long grass behind an abandoned house, Cleotha Absston (38), has been arrested for her murder and kidnapping.

Memphis Police Department stated in a statement that an official CODIS hit (national DNA database), was not received by them until September 2, 2022, after which they were unable to confirm the information. 

After the CODIS hit was received, there wasn’t a probable cause to arrest any suspect.

Commercial Appeal reported that two days after the crime, the rape tool was sent to investigators.  

TBI spokesmen confirmed that the dates were correct. However, they noted that the evidence against Abston was placed in a ‘queue of unknown assailant kits, as no request was made for TBI analysis to be expedited, and no suspect information or DNA standard was included in the submission.’ 

Abston, a career criminal, spent 20 years behind bars for another kidnapping. In that instance, a man. 

The Memphis Police confirmed Saturday’s new charges, but did not provide any further information about the case of 2021. Other than confirmation that they are not related to Fletcher’s case.

He 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, when she was caught on camera being forced into a black SUV.

Abston, who was arrested for first-degree murder, kidnapping, and tampering of evidence, appeared at Memphis’s courtroom on Thursday. A judge denied him bail before he faces another hearing in September.

Jennifer Case was initially his public defender and claimed that she had a conflict in interest representing him because her office had previously worked with him on a criminal case in the 2000s. 

Louis Montesi Jr., the judge dismissed the case despite his agreement to listen to her arguments about a gag order at another hearing. 

Case claimed that Memphis Police Chief C.J. should keep certain details of the case secret. David described Abston as a “dangerous predator”.

Tennessee has the death penalty. Tennessee prosecutors said Thursday that they would not rule it out for him if he’s convicted.  

Abston, who wore both a green prison-issued uniform & a mask during his hearing, only spoke with his public defender.

Eliza Fletcher, 34, was last seen about 4.20am on Friday, when she was 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 Friday morning at 4.20 am. She was walking in Memphis (right), when a man approached and forced Fletcher into an SUV. Police said that Fletcher had been fighting for a while.


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

Fletcher is pictured here with Richie, her husband and their children. Her family described Fletcher as an ‘extraordinary’ woman, who was taken from her in a senseless’ way.

Abston was 11 years old when he first became known to police officers. 

He is now 38 and was only 11 years old when he appeared before Shelby County Juvenile court. He was charged with the theft of $500 or less. Court documents reveal that he was then convicted of raping a man when he was a teenager, and was placed in the custody of Shelby County’s Youth Services Bureau.

From October 1995 through May 2000, he was held 16 times for rape and aggravated assault.

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 he was released from the youth services bureau to his mother’s care, he was transferred to adult court for the 2000 kidnapping lawyer Kemper Durand – who worked in the same law firm as Fletcher’s uncle Michael Keeney.

Abston, who was just 16 years old, kidnapped Durand with an accomplice, placed Durand in his trunk and attempted to make Durand withdraw cash at a station ATM.

Durand’s victim impact statement stated that he had feared his life in the kidnapping. However, he was saved by Memphis Housing Authority officers who heard him scream for help. Durand died in 2013.

Durand stated, “It’s quite probable that I would be killed had it not been for me to escape,”

Abston was sentenced for 22 years imprisonment, and was freed in 2020. He was then kidnapped again two years later. 

Jennifer Coffindaffer (ex-FBI Officer) stated that she was against Abston being released early. She said that the imprisonment would have saved Fletcher’s life.

She said, “Anytime someone is released early and they go on to do another violent crime then yes, society’s down.” “I believe we all feel let down by his premature release.

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

She said, “I’m certain certainly that FBI, US Marshals and that TBI are closely looking at this relationship,”