Clenny, 26, was taken into custody at a rehab facility in Hawaii, where she was receiving treatment for substance abuse and post-traumatic stress disorder, and charged with second-degree murder with a deadly weapon in connection with the April 3 death of 27-year-old Christian “Toby” Obumseli, according to the Miami Herald.
A press release from the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office did not confirm the charges against Clenny, noting that her arrest warrant “is presently sealed” and that a press conference will be held Thursday afternoon local time “to announce the filing of criminal charges” in the case.
“We are completely shocked at Courtney’s arrest based upon the clear evidence of self defense in this matter,” Clenney’s lawyer Frank Prieto said in a statement to Rolling Stone, adding that “it is an absolute injustice to charge a victim of domestic violence and human trafficking with a crime.” Prieto said that his client “always offered to self-surrender if charges were filed” in the case and that he was “disappointed” an arrest warrant was issued for Clenney. “We will vigorously defend Courtney and clear her of this unfounded and baseless charge,” he said.
Larry Handfield, a lawyer for Obumseli’s family, and the Miami Police Department did not respond to Rolling Stone‘s request for comment.
Although Clenney’s family and counsel maintains she acted out of self-defense, a Rolling Stone investigation published in May revealed the self-described fitness model and her boyfriend had a troubled relationship marred by Clenney’s ongoing addiction issues and alleged physical abuse of Obumseli. Friends of the couple said Clenney, who posted online under the pseudonym Courtney Tailor, was an aggressive partner with a long history of domestic violence, regularly leaning into the “toxic girlfriend” persona to explain away her behavior. “I can summarize it as her always having these manic episodes, dragging him into it, and him trying to be like, ‘calm down, calm down,'” a friend who knew the couple when the resided in Austin told Rolling Stone shortly after Obumseli’s death.
At the time, Prieto told Rolling Stone that the couple “had a tumultuous relationship” and claimed Obumseli “was a gaslighter” who was “mentally and physically abusive” toward Clenney. Handfield, the Obumseli family lawyer, denied all claims of physical violence and shared that police had been called to the couple’s apartment numerous times due to Clenney’s behavior. “If there was any evidence to support that he was abusive towards her, he would have been hauled off to jail so fast it’ll make your head spin,” he said.
Clenney will soon be extradited back to Miami to face trial.