Advocacy groups are asking Governor Bill Lee to appoint an independent investigator to look into the possible failures of state agencies that may have led to the kidnapping and murder of Eliza Fletcher earlier this year.
Cleotha Abston Henderson, the man who has been charged with grabbing the 34-year-old teacher as she was jogging early in the morning of September 2nd near the University of Memphis, has also been connected to a 2021 abduction after results of a backlogged DNA kit were received.
A new law that went into effect earlier this year would have prevented both crimes by keeping Henderson in jail. Before being released early in 2020, Henderson had served 22 years out of a 24-year sentence, and was not under supervision or parole at the time of his attack on Fletcher.
Both House Speaker Cameron Sexton and the Senate’s Lt. Governor Randy McNally sponsored a bill earlier this year to require that violent criminals serve 100% of their prison sentences. The aim of the new legislation is to keep the most dangerous criminals from reoffending by keeping them behind bars.