Crime UPDATE: Flanigan, Thursby charged with 2016 murder of Leslie Clements | The Cullman Tribune

Crime

UPDATE: Flanigan, Thursby charged with 2016 murder of Leslie Clements

Jerome Flanigan, left, and Kayla Thursby, right, have been charged with the 2016 murder of Leslie Clements. / Cullman Police Department

CULLMAN -  Two people this week were arrested and charged with the September 2016 murder of 33-year-old Leslie Anne Clements.

Jerome Anthony Flanigan, 36, was arrested Sunday night and charged with murder, first-degree theft of property and second-degree arson.

Kayla Sherea Thursby, 31, who, along with Flanigan, was a suspect in the Clements’ case for some time, 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.

According to court documents, both Flanigan and Thursby are accused of choking Clements and/or placing a double-wrapped plastic bag around her neck with an electrical cord. The theft of property charges stem from Flanigan and Thursby allegedly stealing Clements’ 1994 Volvo.

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 $55,000 property bond.

This is a developing story. Check www.CullmanTribune.com for the very latest.

Jerome Flanigan Complaint by cullmansense on Scribd

Kayla Thursby Complaint by cullmansense on Scribd

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  • Leslie Clements
  • Jerome Flanigan was brought in by the Cullman Police Department on Sunday night.