MIAMI (WSVN) - Officials said a social media model who has been charged with the murder of her boyfriend in Miami had a history of domestic violence, months before the victim’s death.
In a news conference held Thursday afternoon, the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office released a video of a Feb. 21 incident that showed OnlyFans and Instagram model Courtney Clenney attacking her boyfriend, Christian “Toby” Obumseli, in an elevator at One Paraiso, the condo where the couple had been living together.
“The defendant was aggressively attacking Christian,” said Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle.
The video, dated Feb. 21, also showed Obumseli shielding himself with his arms and pushing Clenney in an attempt to fend her off.
Fernandez Rundle played the video at the news conference to show the violent dynamic that persisted in the couple’s relationship with Clenney as the aggressor during episodes like the elevator fight and others.
“An extremely tempestuous and combative relationship,” said Fernandez Rundle.
Back in July 2021, Clenney was arrested in Las Vegas and charged with domestic battery. According to the arrest report, Obumseli was the victim.
Prior to the press release, police released her arrest warrant to the public.
The document stated, “Prior incidents with the model being physically violent with the victim” ultimately led to her arrest.
Investigators said Clenney, an influencer whose stage name is Courtney Tailor, stabbed Obumseli at One Paraiso during some sort of fight on April 3.
“At 4:57, defendant Clenney called 911 to tell the police that Christian was suffering from a stab wound and needed help,” said Fernandez Rundle. “On that 911 call, Christian can be heard in the background repeatedly saying that he was dying, and he was losing feeling in his arm. Defendant Clenney is also heard saying, ‘I’m so sorry, baby.'”
Investigators said Obumseli suffered an eight-centimeter stab wound that proved fatal.
“The knife entered Christian’s chest in a downward angle, to the depth of three inches,” said Fernandez Rundle.
Clenney claimed self-defense and was not initially arrested.
“Clenney admitted to having caused Christian’s injury,” said Fernandez Rundle.
But after gathering evidence, police and prosecutors on Wednesday charged Clenney with second-degree murder with a deadly weapon. U.S. Marshals arrested her without incident at an undisclosed location in Laupahoehoe, Hawaii with the assistance of Hawaii Police.
Her Miami defense lawyer, Frank Prieto, said she was in a rehabilitation facility in Hawaii for treatment of substance abuse and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Authorities said inconsistencies in the suspect’s story, the couple’s domestic violence history and other details from the night of the killing helped them make their ultimate decision.
“I’m confident that continued justice will be done,” said Larry Handfield, an attorney representing Obumseli’s family.
Handfield reiterated that Clenney had always been the aggressor.
An arrest warrant states, “In trying to explain her actions that day to police, the defendant stated, “…I really don’t know if this was justified at all.”
“At this time, all the necessary steps are being taken as we speak for her return to Miami to be held accountable for this murder,” said Fernandez Rundle.
Clenney is being held without bond at the Hawaii Police’s East Hawaii Detention Center. In her initial court appearance on Thursday, she waived extradition.
Back in Miami, Obumseli’s family stood next to Miami Police Chief Manuel Morales.
When asked why it took so long to make an arrest, Morales replied, “Our detectives hold that sometimes you only get one shot, and you want to get it right.”
When asked why Obumseli’s loved ones learned about his death from the medical examiner and not police, Morales replied, “My apologies to the family for learning about the horrific act that happened to one of their family members from the medical examiner.”
Morales said his department tried to arrange having an officer in Texas to deliver the news to the Houston-based family in April, but the Miami-Dade Medical Examiner called them first.
Thursday night, Prieto provided 7News a statement that reads:
“It is a shame that the State Attorney’s Office is seeking to win this case in the court of public opinion by showing an irrelevant and likely inadmissible video of Courtney in an elevator getting physical with Obumseli. The video does not depict the events leading up to what was captured in the elevator. Obumseli was the abuser, the worst kind of abuser. He would manipulate and abuse Courtney in private when he thought nobody was around. Do not forget that the initial investigation from the City of Miami Police Department uncovered an independent witness who saw Obumseli hitting Courtney in the head while he thought he was in the privacy of Courtney’s apartment. Nobody has ever denied that Courtney and her abuser had a tumultuous relationship. It is inappropriate for prosecutors to try and taint the community against Courtney to the point she may not be able to receive a fair trial. The charging decision in this matter should have been made on the evidence of what occurred that evening in the apartment and nothing more. This is a case of self-defense, and the facts that will be presented at trial will prove this.
Also, the arrest warrant issued in this matter contains deceptive and incomplete statements, clearly an effort to justify a finding of probable cause when presented to the magistrate. Further, the medical examiner has formulated conclusory opinions that will not stand up to scientific scrutiny. Unfortunately, it appears that the prosecutors have taken ‘the easy way out’ by charging Courtney, effectively placing the decision to clear Courtney of these charges in the hands of the judge and jury. We are confident she will be exonerated, and Courtney will be seen for what she is: a victim of domestic abuse that survived her abuser.”
Authorities said they expect Clenney to be back in Miami before the middle of September.
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