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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WREG)– WREG Investigators have learned that Cleotha Abston, the suspect in Eliza Fletcher’s kidnapping and murder, has been in trouble with the law since he was 11 years old.

Court documents listed Abston as violent and at 16, we learned already had several felony convictions on his record.

Abston was sentenced to 24 years in prison after pleading guilty to especially aggravated kidnapping and aggravated robbery in 2000.

The victim stated, “he was extremely lucky he was able to escape” that night in 2000 when Abston put him into the “trunk of his car” at gunpoint for a “number of hours” until he tried to force him to use the ATM at a Mapco station.

Someone entered the gas station and thankfully, the victim called for help. He wrote, “It is quite likely that I would have been killed had I not escaped.”

Abston declined to comment in court. He was only 16 at the time of the kidnapping, according to his arrest ticket.

Court documents state he had “a good relationship with his family” but his “childhood was rough.” The documents go on to state Abston’s lengthy record that shows his first arrest was in 1995 for theft.

He was just 11 years old.

He was arrested again and again, every few months from there for burglary, theft, aggravated assault, violation of curfew, truancy, rape, evading arrest, and more.

The violent crimes including rape and aggravated assault resulted in time in the detention center but it’s unclear how much time he spent there.

His file also states at the time, he had no suicidal gestures, medical problems, or mental illness. He was listed, though, as 100% violent.

The 2000 kidnapping victim ended his statement to the court by saying it was “obvious to me Abston feels absolutely no remorse for the crime”

TDOC confirmed to us he was released in November 2020 when his sentence expired.