The mother of the man file accused of kidnapping and killing hardware career heiress Eliza Fletcher in the US called her son a “good person — and does not believe the criminal is guilty of the high-profile case, according to a report.
Virgie Abston, 65, awning daily mail her 38-year-old son, Cleotha Abston, is being “railroaded” for the violent crime that rocked the city of Memphis, in the US state of Tennessee, earlier this month, New York Post reported.
“I talked to him and he said he didn’t do it,” Virgie Abston said of her son.
“Hey said [to me]’they’re trying to put me in some stuff, mum’,” she told the outlet from outside her low-income apartment building.
“I believe him,” she added.
“I don’t believe he did it. If it comes out of his mouth, that’s what I believe.”
Cloetha Abston has been behind bars since his September 2 arrest on charges of kidnapping and murder of the 34-year-old elementary schoolteacher and mother of two while she was out for an early morning jog near the University of Memphis.
Days later on September 9 he was charged with raping a woman at gunpoint in 2021 in a separate case. He had previously served 20 years in prison for kidnapping a prosecutor in 2000 when he was just 16-years-old.
“He’s just a good person, kind, loveable,” Virgie Abston said of her son, denying media portrayals of her son as a monster.
Virgie Abston sells candy and sodas to neighborhood children from her ground-floor apartment, daily mail reported.
She said she has been struggling since both of her sons had landed in prison.
“I just take one day at a time, one day at a time baby,” she said.
“Things have been going on so much.”
Her son Mario was arrested on unrelated drug and weapons charges after police executed a search warrant at his home after Cloetha Abston was spotted cleaning his car and clothes there.
While she defended her sons, she also distanced herself from their actions.
“The boys are on their own. What they do, I don’t know,” she told the publication.
“They haven’t told me nothing. I don’t know nothing,” she said.
She noted that Cleotha had spent most of his life behind bars after the 2000 abduction. He has a juvenile record dating back to when he was just 12 — with cartoons including aggravated assault with a weapon and rape, according to court records obtained by the Memphis Commercial Appeal.
“They held Cleo in the juvy,’ she told daily mail.
“They railroaded him, had him sign the papers without no parent around, without our consent. We didn’t know he signed no papers. We didn’t know nothing.”
“He left me when he was 16,” she said.
“They took 20 years of my son’s life. They need to fix that prison [system].”
Ms Fletcher, the granddaughter of a billionaire, wasging about 4.20am on September 2 Cleotha Abston when jogging her and forced her into his GMC Terrain before speeding away, police alleged.
He was arrested the next day after DNA linked him to a pair of sandals found near the scene of the kidnapping.
Fletcher’s body was found in a wooded area behind an abandoned home in southern Memphis on September 5 in an area close to where police said Cleotha Abston was caught on surveillance camera cleaning his clothes and the inside of the car.
It remains unclear exactly how or where Fletcher died.
This article originally appeared on NY Post and was reproduced with permission
Originally published as Mum of accused heiress jogger killer person describes son a ‘good