The top prosecutor in Memphis has notified the court that his office intends to seek the death penalty for a felon accused of kidnapping a jogging woman off the street and killing her in September.

Cleotha Abston, also known as Cleotha Henderson, is a violent ex-con with a history of brutal crimes.

He was released early from prison and allegedly raped at least one other woman before the murder of Eliza Fletcher, 34, whom police say he dragged into the back of an SUV and shot during a jog near the University of Memphis campus around 5:30 a.m. on Sept. 2, 2022.

Shelby County District Attorney Steve Mulroy’s office will seek the death penalty if Abston is convicted, Judge Lee Coffee said during a hearing Thursday.

The DA’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

In the past, Mulroy, a progressive Democrat, has voiced opposition to the death penalty. However, Abston’s case is not the first time he has announced intent to seek capital punishment for a crime that rocked the city.

Shortly after Abston’s arrest, 19-year-old Ezekiel Kelly was arrested in an unrelated shooting spree, allegedly killing four and wounding three more in a livestreamed attack that prompted a citywide lockdown, according to authorities.

“The facts of this case compel me to seek the maximum penalty provided under the law, regardless of my personal beliefs,” Mulroy said in March when he announced his office would seek death for that suspect, too, according to the Tri-State Defender.

An in an interview with Fox News Digital weeks after Fletcher’s abduction, the DA distanced himself from other progressive prosecutors who he said may have “tarnished the brand” and that he was learning from their mistakes.

Abston was only 16 when he began a 20-year prison term for kidnapping another victim at gunpoint.

His criminal past began when he was even younger — with charges that included aggravated assault and rape. He told investigators that he had dropped out of school after ninth grade, according to court documents obtained by Fox News Digital, but they found no evidence that he’d attended high school at all.

Abston racked up his first rape charge at the age of 14. At 16, he abducted a prominent Memphis lawyer named Kemper Durand (now deceased) at gunpoint, threw him in the trunk of his own car and drove him around to various ATMs, demanding he withdraw cash, court documents show. Abston pleaded guilty in that case and served about 20 years of a 24-year sentence.

On the morning of Sept. 2, 2022, Abston allegedly camped out near the campus entrance for about 24 minutes before Fletcher’s jogging route brought her into the area. Police say surveillance cameras recorded him sprinting out of a GMC Terrain SUV and forcibly grabbing her. In the ensuing struggle, he lost his Champion brand slides at the scene, and police found his DNA on them, according to an arrest affidavit.

Fletcher, an avid runner, a teacher and a mother, was reported missing later that morning by her husband after she failed to return home.

Police found her remains dumped behind a vacant home near Abston’s brother’s apartment days later. Witnesses told investigators they saw him washing out the SUV in the parking lot with chemical cleaner.

A neighbor told Fox News Digital that the house had been vacant for more than 15 years.

Abston is a repeat offender with juvenile convictions that include rape and aggravated assault, according to court documents.

Abston is due back in court on Aug. 4. at 9 a.m.

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