Cleotha Abston, the man who kidnapped and killed billionaire heiress Eliza Fletcher, was charged with first-degree murder and could face the death penalty.
Abston on Wednesday was charged of first-degree murder, premeditated murder and murder in perpetration of kidnapping, Fox News reported.
Abston, a convicted felon, appeared in court at Shelby County Criminal Justice Center in Memphis dressed in a dark green jumpsuit.
Via Fox News:
MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Cleotha Abston, the man accused of kidnapping and killing young Memphis teacher Eliza Fletcher, was back in court on Wednesday, when he was ordered held without bond related to the most serious charges.
Abston, 38, appeared in a Tennessee court for a 10 a.m. ET arraignment on charges of first-degree murder, premeditated murder and murder in perpetration of kidnapping.
He wore a green-colored, jail-issued jumpsuit, a white undershirt, a face mask and handcuffs, with his hands behind his back. He largely looked straight ahead with squared shoulders throughout the appearance. His attorney could be seen speaking with him at length before Wednesday’s arraignment began.
A Shelby County judge ordered Abston held without bond, and revoked his previous bond of $510,000. Abston is due back in court on Thursday at 9 a.m. local time, 10 a.m. ET. His public defender was identified as Jennifer Case.
Eliza Fletcher, the granddaughter of Joseph Orgill III, who inherited and ran a hardware company that now claims over $3 billion in annual sales, was abducted last Friday.
Fletcher was jogging near University of Memphis at 4:30 am on Friday when she was abducted.
Eliza Fletcher’s body was found near the suspect’s brother’s home Monday evening.
Abston has a long rap sheet and previously served prison time.
Cleotha Abston was accused of rape as a pre-teen and previously served 20 years in prison for kidnapping a prosecutor at gunpoint in 2000, the Memphis Commercial Appeal reported.
Tennessee prosecutors said they won’t rule out the death penalty if Abston is convicted.