Inside the Disturbing Aftermath of the Eliza Fletcher Murder Case

Durand, who died in 2013, wrote a letter to the judge suggesting probation for Cobbins, who Abston picked up after he had stolen Durand’s wallet and forced him into the trunk of his own car. The lawyer noted that he felt the older boy had been in the wrong place at the wrong time.

But when Abston filed for post-conviction relief two years later, Durand provided a victim impact statement noting the teen’s long juvenile record that began with assault charges when he was 11, and stated that he thought it likely Abston would have ended up killing him if that officer hadn’t shown up.

Why are authorities under fire in the wake of Eliza Fletcher’s murder?

In response to criticism from some public officials—including the state’s lieutenant governor—that Fletcher would still be alive if Abston had been in prison serving the entirety of his sentence, Mulroy, the district attorney, countered that the suspect had served 85 percent of a 24-year sentence. And, he noted during the Sept. 6 press conference, his office had opposed parole.

“Repeat violent offenders deserve a strong response,” Mulroy said, “and that’s what they’ll get from this district attorney’s office.”

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