Eliza Fletcher accused of killer describes a good person by mom

The mother of the man accused of kidnapping and killing US hardware heiress Eliza Fletcher has called her son a ‘good person’ – and doesn’t believe the career criminal is guilty of murder in the case highly publicized, according to a report.

Virgie Abston, 65, told Daily Mail his 38-year-old son Cleotha Abston is ‘on the rails’ for the violent crime that rocked the city of Memphis in the US state of Tennessee earlier this month, New York Post reported.

“I spoke to him and he said he didn’t,” Virgie Abston said of her son.

“I said [to me]’they’re trying to put me in stuff, mom’,” she said as she exited her low-income apartment building.

“I believe so,” she added.

“I don’t believe he did. If it comes out of his mouth, that’s what I believe.”

Cloetha Abston has been behind bars since her September 2 arrest for kidnapping and murdering the 34-year-old teacher and mother of two while out for an early morning jog near the University of Memphis.

A few days later, on September 9, he was charged with raping a woman at gunpoint in 2021 in a separate case. He had already served 20 years in prison for kidnapping a prosecutor in 2000 when he was just 16.

“He’s just a good person, kind, lovely,” Virgie Abston said of her son, denying media portrayals of her son as a freak.

Virgie Abston sells candy and soda to neighborhood kids from her ground floor apartment, Daily Mail reported.

She said she’s been struggling since her two sons landed in jail.

“I just take it one day at a time, one day at a time baby,” she said.

“Things have happened 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.

While defending her sons, she also distanced herself from their actions.

“The boys are on their own. What they’re doing, I don’t know,” she told the publication.

“They didn’t tell me anything. I don’t know anything,” she said.

She noted that Cleotha had spent most of her life behind bars after the 2000 kidnapping. He has a juvenile record dating back to the age of 12 – with charges of aggravated assault with a weapon and rape, according to court records obtained by the Memphis Business Appeal.

“They detained Cleo in the juvy,” she said Daily Mail.

“They tricked him, made him sign the papers without any relatives, without our consent. We didn’t know he didn’t sign any papers. We didn’t know anything.”

“He left me when he was 16,” she said.

“They took 20 years of my son’s life. They have to fix this prison [system].”

Ms Fletcher, the granddaughter of a billionaire, was jogging around 4.20am on September 2 when Cleotha Abston approached her and forced her into her GMC Terrain before driving off, according to the police.

He was arrested the following day after DNA linked him to a pair of sandals found near the scene of the abduction.

Fletcher’s body was found in a wooded area behind an abandoned home in south Memphis on September 5 in an area near where police say Cleotha Abston was caught on surveillance camera clean his clothes and the inside of the car.

It is unclear exactly how or where Fletcher died.

This article originally appeared on New York Post and has been reproduced with permission

Originally published as Heiress’ mum accused of jogger killer describes her son as a ‘good person’