The parents of a Miami social media model accused of fatally stabbing her boyfriend in 2022 were arrested after authorities said they accessed the boyfriend’s laptop after the killing, according to new warrants.
Kim Dewayne Clenney, 60, and Deborah Lyn Clenney, 57, were booked on felony charges of unauthorized access to a computer or electronic device, the warrants said.
The warrants released Wednesday detail the arrests of the parents of Courtney Clenney, who’s accused of killing boyfriend Christian Obumseli.
The 27-year-old Obumseli was found fatally stabbed in the couple’s luxury Edgewater condo on April 3, 2022, allegedly at the hands of Clenney.
Courtney Clenney, now 27, was arrested in August 2022 on a second-degree murder charge. She’s being held without bond while she awaits trial.
According to the new warrants, many of Obumseli’s belongings were taken from the condo after his killing.
Authorities who were investigating his killing had sought access to Courtney Clenney’s cellphone, along with her iCloud account and the iCloud accounts of her parents, the warrants said.
They received search warrants for the iCloud accounts and Apple complied, which gave investigators access to messages that included a group chat between Courtney Clenney’s attorneys and her parents.
Included in the chat were discussions about Obumseli’s laptop and how to access it, including a reference to accessing the laptop using guessed passwords, the warrant said.
‘Are there any PIN/passwords we can try before you see her tomorrow?’ Kim Clenney wrote in one message, according to the warrants.
He later determined the PIN was a number and not letters and the next day wrote ‘Hell yeah! That PIN worked!’ according to the warrants.
‘Kim. Hold off on going through the computer please. I don’t want to turn you into a witness just yet if you find something useful,’ one of the attorneys wrote, according to the warrants.
The parents and attorneys also discussed potentially shipping the laptop, the warrants said.
‘When it comes to potential evidence, we always have to consider ‘chain of custody’ issues and don’t necessarily want to take the risk something gets ‘lost’ in mail,’ one attorney messaged.
‘Also, as I’m sure you guessed by me [SIC] prior text, we don’t want you accessing files because the State Attorneys could request their own independent analysis of the hard drive and accuse you of creating or modifying files,’ another attorney messaged. ‘That’s why I want to put a quick pause on that. Obviously, I know you would not do that, but we want to maintain that credibility.’
‘I had barely opened it and was starting to poke around, but we started a video call so I stopped,’ Kim Clenney messaged, according to the warrant. ‘Never opened a file, so I didn’t see anything.’
Days later, Kim Clenney sent a message saying ‘I’d also like for you to have the laptop soon, so you can see if there’s anything of use to us on it,’ the warrants said.
Records showed the laptop was eventually turned into the defense attorneys.
But Florida law says accessing a person’s computer without their permission, or in Obumseli’s case, the permission of his estate, is illegal.
It’s unknown when the parents could be extradited to South Florida to face the charges.
In a lengthy statement, Courtney Clenney’s attorney called the charges against the parents a ‘power play by prosecutors to control the narrative.’
‘We’re extremely surprised and very concerned about the arrest of the Clenney family; this could be an example of prosecutorial overreach and misconduct,’ the statement read, in part. ‘It appears excessive in that the family is now confined in jail awaiting an extradition hearing on what may be an attempt to manipulate media headlines and discredit them before Thursday’s scheduled hearing on a gag order in the case … We believe the Clenney family has been targeted with some trumped-up charges to discredit them in the press and make their lives miserable.’
Miami-Dade prosecutors said the couple had an ‘extremely tempestuous and combative relationship’ and that Obumseli was the victim of domestic violence, while Courtney Clenney’s attorneys have said she was the victim of an abusive relationship and that she stabbed him in self-defense.
But Larry Handfield, one of the attorneys representing Obumseli’s family, said the parents’ arrests point to Courtney Clenney’s guilt.
‘We believe it’s criminating evidence and it goes to the cover-up which my family has always believed that Mr. Obumseli was the victim in this case. This was never self-defense,’ Handfield said. ‘The family is very happy that the state attorney’s office continued to pursue justice in this manner.’
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