Crime UPDATE: 2nd person arrested for murder of Leslie Clements; Kayla Thursby picked up in Tuscaloosa | The Cullman Tribune


UPDATE: 2nd person arrested for murder of Leslie Clements; Kayla Thursby picked up in Tuscaloosa

Kayla Thursby, top left, and Jerome Flanigan, bottom left, have both been charged with the September 2016 murder of Leslie Clements, right. (Mugshots courtesy of the Cullman Police Department. Photo of Leslie Clements courtesy of Facebook)


CULLMAN -  A second person has been arrested and charged with the September 2016 murder of 33-year-old Leslie Clements. Kayla S. Thursby was arrested in Tuscaloosa on an unrelated warrant early Tuesday evening. She is now charged with murder and first-degree theft of property. Thursby was transported back to Cullman by the Cullman Police Department (CPD) Tuesday night.

Jerome Flanigan, 36, who, along with Thursby, was a suspect in the Clements’ case for some time, was arrested Sunday night and charged with murder, first-degree theft of property and second-degree arson.

Clements’ body was found in an apartment in the 1000 block of Fuller Street, on the southwest side of the city of Cullman, on Friday, Sept. 16, 2016. Authorities declared the death suspicious, and the body was sent to Huntsville for autopsy.

That same day, Flanigan and Thursby were identified as persons of interest by the CPD.

In two bizarre twists to the case, on the day Clements’ body was found, the childhood home of Jerome Flanigan was set on fire in the town of Colony. The Cullman County Sheriff’s Office investigated the fire, which was on County Road 33. 

The next day, Saturday, Sept. 17, 2016, George Lamar Flanigan, then 38, the brother of Jerome Flanigan, was found with a gunshot wound to his abdomen. He was transported by ambulance to Cullman Regional, where he was treated and released. The CPD identified the shooter as Ronald McLaughlin. According to a statement from the CPD, McLaughlin was cooperative with the police and the shooting appeared to be self-defense. The Cullman County District Attorney's Office declined to press charges.

The investigation has been going strong since the murder, according to CPD Capt. of Investigation Becky Boyd.

“In January 2018 Investigator Max Bartlett was assigned to work this case and it was the only case he has worked on for the past two months. He did an excellent job. Last week he submitted his findings to the DA’s office and on Friday warrants were issued,” said Boyd. 

“I’m thankful for the work of all the investigators who have worked on this case," said Boyd. "We have spent a great deal of time on this case to get to this point. Hopefully this will bring some closure to the Clements family.”

Upon Thursby’s arrest Tuesday night, Boyd said, “We obtained the warrants last Friday and were able to get Jerome Sunday. This is the final piece of this part. We’re just glad to have her to close this phase of the investigation. It’ll be in the court’s hands now. We’re just very glad to be able to make the arrest and bring some closure for her family.”

Boyd said Jerome Flanigan remains incarcerated in the Cullman County Detention Center as on a $65,000 cash bond. Thursby is being held on a $60,000 property bond.

Authorities are not releasing Clements’ cause of death at this time.

This is a developing story. Check for the very latest.

Copyright 2018 Humble Roots, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

  • Flanigan was taken into custody by the Cullman Police Department on Sunday night.
  • Jerome Flanigan
  • Kayla Thursby