A defense attorney for the OnlyFans and Instagram model accused of murdering her boyfriend in Miami wants evidence in her case kept secret and for an outside medical expert to inspect the man’s corpse — a request that would require digging up his grave.
The attorney for Courtney Clenney, who is still awaiting extradition to Miami from Hawaii to face a charge of second-degree murder, will go to court on Friday to ask a judge to bar prosecutors from releasing evidence in the case without the judge first inspecting the material, to “preserve the accused’s right to a fair and impartial jury.” He’s also asking the judge to allow for the “inspection” of Christian “Toby” Obumseli’s body by a defense expert.
Friday’s court hearing will unfold more than one week after the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office announced the charge against Clenney, a widely followed social-media influencer who is accused of stabbing her boyfriend to death during a domestic dispute at their luxury Edgewater condo in early April.
Her defense lawyer insists that Clenney acted in self-defense and was the true victim of domestic violence.
The sensational case has garnered media attention across the world, in part because Clenney lived such a public life, with millions of followers on social media. On Instagram, she regularly posted racy photos of herself, and on OnlyFans, a site where performers often post content for money.
At a press conference last week, Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle said that Clenney claimed to have thrown the knife at Obumseli from a distance of over 10 feet, but that an autopsy revealed a puncture wound so deep it could only have been caused by an up-close and personal stabbing.
In his motion, attorney Frank Prieto asked that the Miami-Dade Medical Examiner’s Office or the Miami police “preserve the decedent’s body” for an additional inspection before a trial, or a hearing on whether Clenney acted in self-defense.
But Obumseli has already been buried in Texas, according to his family’s attorney, Larry Handfield. He called the move “an act of desperation” and said any exhuming of Obumseli ‘s body would go against the family’s religious beliefs.
“Disturbing his rest would be a nightmare for the family. They would have to relive their trauma,” Handfield said.
Prieto is also asking that Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Diana Vizcaino limit the release of “discovery,” or evidence in the case. In Florida, much of the state’s evidence is generally public record once it’s been given to defense lawyers. Certain evidence, such as confessions, autopsy photos and bank records, are generally exempt from public disclosure.
In his motion, he took exception to Fernandez Rundle releasing elevator surveillance video — taken two months before the killing — showing Clenney repeatedly hitting Obumseli. “Release of this elevator video to the media and general public, knowing it would be disseminated and reproduced, could only be an attempt by the government to prejudice and taint potential jury members against the defendant,” he wrote.
He asked that the judge seal all evidence in the case until she can review it “to determine their relevance, probative value, potential prejudice and admissibility.”
The video will likely be used by prosecutors to establish a pattern of aggression by Clenney against Obumseli.
The Miami Herald is already opposing the move. In a motion filed Thursday, Herald attorney Scott Ponce argued that Clenney hasn’t proved that the release of evidence would taint a jury.
“Here, it is facially implausible to suggest that public disclosure of the discovery will taint the citizens of a county as large as Miami-Dade County to such a degree that it will be impossible to empanel an impartial jury for a trial of this action.” Ponce wrote.
Prieto did not return a request for comment on Thursday.