MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The man accused of killing Eliza Fletcher was scheduled to be back in front of a Shelby County judge for a report date Monday morning, but the hearing was reset to Sept. 28.
Cleotha Abston-Henderson is charged with the abduction and murder of the 34-year-old Memphis mother and teacher.
Monday, Abston-Henderson’s lawyer, Jennifer Case of the Public Defender’s Office, asked the state for more time with her client for the charges of murder in the Fletcher case. He was in court for only a couple of minutes.
This was the second courtroom Abston-Henderson has been in over the last four days. Thursday he appeared before judge Lee Coffee to face charges for aggravated rape in a crime dating back to 2021.
Prosecutor Paul Hagerman says he believes next week is when the defense will ask the judge for a preliminary hearing in the Fletcher case. That is when the evidence could be presented to determine if there is enough probable cause to send the case to a grand jury.
Police say Abston-Henderson waited for Fletcher while she was out on her early morning run near the University of Memphis earlier this month. Security video shows him forcing Fletcher into a car and driving off.
A shoe near the scene with Abston-Henderson’s DNA, along with cell phone records, linked him to the crime.
Fletcher’s body was found outside an abandoned home in South Memphis three days later, just yards away from where Abston-Henderson was seen cleaning his clothes and the inside of a car.
Fletcher was a kindergarten teacher, and leaves behind a husband and two children.