Motion to move Cleotha Henderson rape case to Davidson County to be ruled on in January

Published: Nov. 16, 2023 at 5:13 PM CST
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The Shelby County judge presiding over Cleotha Henderson’s rape and murder cases will rule on a motion to move the rape case to a Davidson County courtroom in January.

The motion hearing was reset Thursday in Shelby County court to January 3. Henderson is accused of kidnapping and raping Alicia Franklin in 2021, nearly one year before the death of Eliza Fletcher in 2022.

An April 2024 trial has been set for the rape case. Henderson’s lawyers have requested that trial take place in Davidson County.

Thursday, Judge Lee Coffee said ruling on this motion so soon after its request would be unfair to the other pending Shelby County cases he’s overseeing. Henderson’s attorney said they were expecting this outcome Thursday.

“I think the court had about 60 cases on the docket and then the distance between now and the holidays are short as well,” explained Defense Attorney Lauren Pasley. “So, it’s okay. It’s just a few weeks away.”

Henderson’s lawyers said they will likely make a motion to move the Eliza Fletcher murder trial to another county as well.

Judge Coffee said once he rules on the change in venue motion for the rape case, a trial date for the murder case will be set.

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