The lady allegedly raped at gunpoint by Eliza Fletcher’s suspected assassin is suing Memphis officers for ignoring her case for almost a 12 months — insisting they might have saved the snatched Tennessee heiress’s life.
Mother of 1 Alicia Franklin, 22, filed her lawsuit towards the Metropolis of Memphis on Tuesday — a 12 months to the week that Cleotha Abston Henderson, 38, is now charged with kidnapping and raping her.
Her submitting got here two days after she recognized herself to the Every day Memphian, blasting cops for ignoring her case as a result of she “was simply a median Black woman within the metropolis of Memphis.”
Her lawsuit towards the Metropolis of Memphis mentioned that the “Police Division failed to research the rape adequately and with due diligence,” together with primary testing on her rape package, the Every day Memphian mentioned.
Had they acted, “the abduction and homicide of Eliza Fletcher wouldn’t have occurred,’’ the go well with contended.
When Fletcher — the 34-year-old granddaughter of a late native billionaire — was snatched on Sept. 2, police rushed by DNA assessments which IDed Abston Henderson as a suspect inside 18 hours.
He was within the system, having spent 20 years in jail for an earlier armed kidnapping when he was simply 17.
Nevertheless, detectives ignored Franklin’s rape package for 11 months — solely finishing it and inputting it right into a state-wide DNA system on Sept. 5, getting a match for Abston Henderson three days after he allegedly snatched the heiress.
“Cleotha Abston ought to and will have been arrested and indicted for the aggravated rape of Alicia Franklin many months earlier, most definitely within the 12 months 2021,” insisted her go well with, filed in Shelby County Circuit Courtroom.
As an alternative, officers failed “to make use of current proof on a well timed foundation” to successfully arrest the suspect “in time to cease him from committing not less than one different violent felony,” it mentioned, referring to Fletcher’s homicide.
Franklin, who additionally spoke on digicam to Motion Information 5, mentioned she met Abston Henderson on a relationship app, agreeing to a date in the identical Memphis house complicated the place he was arrested for Fletcher’s homicide.
Instantly, “he drew a gun on her… threatened to kill her… compelled her into the again seat (of his automobile)… raped her and took cash from her…,” the lawsuit reads.
“I actually thought he was going to shoot me at the back of my head,’’ she had informed the Every day Memphian on Sunday.
She recalled begging her rapist, “I don’t wish to… die this manner.”
“I mentioned, ‘For those who’re going to kill me, simply kill me.’ As a result of at that time I didn’t really feel like I’d get away,’’ she informed the native paper.
After raping her, the attacker stole money and fled. “I heard the automobile drive off I simply ran out,” Fletcher recalled.
She gave cops her rapist’s relationship website profile, cellphone quantity and first title, “Cleo.” She additionally took them to the crime scene, claiming they left with out taking any fingerprints, together with on her cellphone, which she mentioned her attacker touched.
“They didn’t care,’’ Franklin insisted, saying she “gave up” after calling again with no assist nor updates.
“I used to be simply a median Black woman within the metropolis of Memphis, you recognize … I simply assume it wasn’t a precedence,” she informed the Every day Memphian.
Her lawsuit names the Metropolis of Memphis as the only real defendant and seeks an unspecified quantity of compensation for ache and struggling and different damages.
“As is commonplace apply, we don’t discuss pending litigation,’’ a spokesman for Mayor Jim Strickland informed the Every day Memphian.