State Fears OnlyFans Suspect Will Flee Before Trial

November 15, 2022 Criminal Defense, Violent Crimes

A new update has occurred in the case against OnlyFans model Courtney Clenney. The 26-year-old was arrested and charged with killing her boyfriend, Christian “Toby” Obumseli, after a heated argument took place in their Miami home.

Clenney had already been extradited to Miami from Hawaii for the initial arrest, but now prosecutors fear that if let out of jail, the defendant will try and flee Florida.

This article will provide details on the case, along with helpful information on the extradition process during a criminal case.

Newest Update in Murder Case

On November 10th, 2022, the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office filed a motion to keep Clenney behind bars until the trial. Part of the fear is due to the defendant’s career with only OnlyFans. Prosecutors claim that Clenney’s “sizable wealth” paired with the ability to work from wherever, is why they believe she would flee given the chance.

The motion filed argued that Clenney has “a profession she can maintain abroad if she flees the country, an act she can certainly afford financially. The defendant furthermore has the means of making [a] quick escape and financially sustaining herself abroad.”

OnlyFans is a popular online website based outside of U.S. law that allows individuals to post images and videos for financial gain through monthly subscriptions. The State’s motion claims that Clenney’s “means of financially sustaining herself requires a mere internet connection.”

In addition, the State claims that there are some allegedly “suspicious” wire transfers from Clenney’s bank account to her father’s following her boyfriend’s death. However, the defendant’s defense attorney insists she will not flee, stating that she had just bought a house to create “ties to the community.”

“We don’t think she’s going to flee,” Defense attorney Sabrina Puglisi said Friday. Puglisi is pushing for Clenney to be released on house arrest, and to allow her to complete the treatment interrupted back in August due to her arrest. Back then, Clenney was taken from a substance abuse and trauma residence treatment center.

The case’s next hearing is set for November 15th, 2022. For the upcoming hearing, both sides will introduce evidence from the crime scene. The defense is planning to introduce images of bruises on Clenney, which were allegedly suffered at the hands of Obumseli.

The prosecution is maintaining that Clenney was the aggressor in the fight—highlighting a relationship that became more and more violent in the months prior to the killing. The state used Clenney’s battery charge from Las Vegas in 2021 in their motion—in which she admitted to throwing a glass at her boyfriend.

Courtney Clenney is currently charged with second-degree murder with a deadly weapon. If convicted, Clenney could face up to life in prison.

Defining Extradition

Sometimes a person accused of a crime takes the opportunity to flee from the state or country where the crime occurred to avoid trial or going to jail. Extradition is defined as the removal of a person from a requested state to a requesting state for criminal prosecution or punishment. To extradite a defendant is to surrender them from one jurisdiction to another.

Extradition is codified under Title 18 of the U.S. Code Sect. 3182, which states the following:

“Whenever the executive authority of any State or Territory demands any person a fugitive from justice, of the executive authority of any State, District, or Territory to such person has fled, and produces a copy of an indictment found or an affidavit made before a magistrate of any State or Territory, charging the person demanded with having committed treason, felony, or other crime, certified as authentic by the governor or chief magistrate of the State or Territory from whence the person so charged has fled, the executive authority of the State, District, or Territory to which such person has fled shall cause him to be arrested and secured, and notify the executive authority making such demand, or the agent of such authority appointed to receive the fugitive, and shall cause the fugitive to be delivered to such agent when they shall appear. If no such agent appears within 30 days from the time of the arrest, the prisoner may be discharged.”

A person accused of a crime who attempts to flee to another state or country will not necessarily evade punishment. State and Federal authorities use the process of extradition between other states and countries to bring accused persons on the run back to their own state. There are different processes for extradition between states and between countries. 

Extradition Between States

Florida Statutes, Chapter 941 governs the extradition process in Florida. The process of extradition between states begins when the defendant fails to show up for a court date, or if the State believes that the accused person has fled across state lines. Once there is probable cause established, then the State can request an out-of-state arrest warrant.

The information from the out-of-state warrant is then placed into the National Crime Information Center (NCIC)—a nationwide database for law enforcement officers to use and see information from arrest warrants from other states. If and when the person on the run is arrested in another state, the authorities issuing the current arrest will notice the first state in which the accused person allegedly fled from.

For example, if a person committed a crime in Florida and then fled to New York, the New York police would have access to that defendant’s arrest warrant from other states as well. The New York police could then notify Florida authorities about the most recent arrest.

Using the same example as above, the police in Florida could then request for the fugitive to return to Florida, but that isn’t always the case. Misdemeanors and non-violent crimes do not always result in extradition. However, if the original state does request for extradition, then the fugitive can either waive the extradition or attempt to fight it.

If the defendant who fled does not waive extradition, then the Florida authorities would then prepare a request for the fugitive to be returned to the state. The request then goes from Florida’s governor to New York’s governor, and upon both their approvals there is an extradition hearing held. The extradition hearing would be held in a New York court, in which that state must decide whether to grant or deny extradition.

When the State holding the fugitive is deciding whether or not to extradite the defendant to the requesting State, they may not delve into the charges behind the extradition request. However, the defendant has the right under the Sixth Amendment to be “informed of the nature and cause of the accusation.” The State must then inform the fugitive of the following:

  1. The request for extradition;
  2. The underlying criminal charge against the defendant; and
  3. The defendant’s right to seek legal counsel.

After the extradition request has been accepted and granted, the fugitive is then offered back to the original state. The defendant has the option to fight the extradition by filing a writ of habeas corpus—a petition to determine whether a state’s detention of a prisoner is considered valid. If the petition is denied, then arrangements will be made to transfer the defendant back to the demanding state. However, if the habeas corpus petition is granted, the fugitive can be released if no other charges are pending in that State’s court. 

Defenses to Extradition Between States

If the process and procedure of extradition are followed properly, then the fugitive must be surrendered and returned to the demanding state. However, that does not mean there are no possible defenses to use in an extradition case. The following is a list of possible defenses for extradition:

  • The extradition request documents are not in order;
  • The alleged fugitive was not charged with a crime in the demanding state; and
  • The person named in the extradition request is not the person charged with the crime.

The state demanding the fugitive has 30 days to retrieve the defendant. If they fail to do so within the given time frame, the arresting state may release the defendant. The best way to figure out which defense works best for your case is by working with an experienced defense attorney in your area.

Extradition Between Countries

When a person accused of a crime flees the U.S. into another country, it is considered international extradition to retrieve them back. International extradition is a process that is generally regulated by a treaty between the U.S. Federal Government and a foreign country.

There are some countries that will grant extradition without a treaty, however. Under 18 U.S.C 3181 and 3184, the United States is permitted to extradite a fugitive without regard to the existence of a treaty. The person demanded for extradition does not have to be a U.S. citizen, but someone who has committed a crime of violence against U.S. nationals in foreign countries.

Considering that the process of extradition can vary between countries, prosecutors wishing to extradite someone out of the U.S. must consult with The Criminal Division’s Office of International Affairs (OIA).

To read more about international extradition, you can do so on the Department of Justice’s website.

Finding a Defense Attorney in Tallahassee, Florida

If you or someone you know has been accused of a crime, the first step should be to reach out to a skilled defense attorney in your area. Defendants convicted of a crime can face harsh consequences such as expensive fines and potential jail time. The process can get much more complicated for a person who has attempted to flee the state after arrest. We strongly advise seeking legal help—Don Pumphrey and his team at Pumphrey Law Firm have experience representing clients across the state for various charges. Contact us today for a free consultation at (850) 681-7777 or leave an online message on our website.

Written by Karissa Key

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