MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Bond was revoked by a judge Wednesday for murder and kidnapping suspect Cleotha Abston.
Abston made his second appearance in a Memphis court, this time with the new charge of first-degree murder added to his initial charges of especially aggravated kidnapping and tampering with evidence. His bond had previously been set at $500,000. He will now be held without bond.
Abston is accused of abducting, killing and dumping the body of Memphis teacher Eliza Fletcher. He faced an arraignment Tuesday on charges of kidnapping and tampering with evidence.
Wednesday, he was back in court to hear the murder charges that were added by police after Fletcher’s body was found at an abandoned house in South Memphis this week. He also has a separate pending case involving identity theft. The judge did not grant bond in that case.
He was supposed to be arraigned on the murder charge Wednesday, but that was held off due to a motion filed by the defense concerning representation. Abston will appear again in court Thursday morning when he could be officially arraigned on the murder charge.
Abston has a long history of violence. He was released from prison nearly two years ago after serving time for another kidnapping more than 20 years ago. The first time he was arrested, he was just 11 years old.
After Wednesday’s court hearing, District Attorney Steve Mulroy said his office fought against releasing Abston when he was up for parole two years ago.
“It’s easy to talk about things in 20-20 hindsight in this case,” Mulroy said. “He clearly should not have been on the streets.”
Prosecutor Paul Hagerman told the media that more information on his criminal background could come out at a future bond hearing, which will not take place until after the arraignment on murder charges.
Prosecutors said it could months before the case goes to trial.
Also during Wednesday’s hearing, a judge announced that Abston’s name will now be changed to Cleotha Henderson in all court records moving forward, at his request. WREG has decided to refer to the suspect as Cleotha Abston-Henderson to prevent confusion in future stories.