Affidavit: Witness Watched Suspect Clean Car for Hour

Cleotha Abston has his bond revoked in Wednesday hearing
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 7, 2022 2:19 PM CDT
Affidavit: Witness Watched Suspect Clean Car for Hour
In this undated photo provided by the Memphis Police Department, 34-year-old Eliza Fletcher, of Memphis, Tenn., is shown.   (Courtesy of Memphis Police Department via AP, File)

The man suspected of murdering Eliza Fletcher was ordered held on a $510,000 bond Tuesday; on Wednesday, that bond was revoked. Cleotha Abston is accused of forcing Fletcher into a black GMC Terrain's passenger seat while she was out on her typical early-morning run Friday. Local station WREG has obtained surveillance video that it claims shows Abston arriving at his brother's apartment at the Longview Garden complex three-plus hours later, at 7:57am Friday morning. It reports Abston remains in the vehicle for some time then heads to the trunk and then into his brother's unit.

Minutes later, he returns to the passenger side, where he allegedly remains for an hour. NBC News cites an amended affidavit filed Tuesday that quoted a witness who said she saw Abston cleaning the SUV "with floor cleaner" and "behaving oddly." Abston's brother told police something similar, adding that he also observed Abston "washing his clothes in the sink of the house." Per the affidavit, investigators arrested Abston Saturday and said he would not discuss Fletcher's location. The Commercial Appeal reports police located Fletcher's body Monday less than a mile from Abston's brother's apartment.

The paper reports Fletcher's family was present in the front row of the gallery during Wednesday's hearing. "Abston did not look at them, instead aiming his gaze at the floor as he entered and left the courtroom," it reports. The Commercial Appeal separately reports that at least a thousand runners are expected to gather at the University of Memphis at 4:20am this Friday to "Finish Liza's Run." (More Eliza Fletcher stories.)

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