A former neighbor says extensive strife preceded the stabbing of a boyfriend by an OnlyFans and Instagram model in the couple’s luxury Florida apartment.
That neighbor says defendant Courtney Clenney, 26, and victim Christian Tobechukwu “Toby” Obumseli, 27, got into raucous fights back when they lived in a different apartment above him in Austin, Texas.
“Behind closed doors, we just started hearing some shouting, yelling,” Aidan Nesvisky told Austin FOX affiliate KTBC in a Monday report. “We don’t know who was starting what. We didn’t get a lot of context. Occasionally we would hear some glasses break and some banging on the walls, floors. Not sure who was doing it.”
Nesvisky, the downstairs neighbor, said there was even one fight where a tiger painting was thrown onto his balcony on the tenth floor.
The question of who abused who is central to Clenney’s case. Prosecutors have charged Clenney with second-degree murder. Clenney’s attorney seems to admit that his client stabbed Obumseli to death in the couple’s apartment in Miami on April 3. However, the attorney has long suggested that the stabbing was an act of self-defense by Clenney.
Though Clenney was seen handcuffed and bloodied at the time, she was arrested in her boyfriend’s death last week.
Clenney, known online as Courtney Tailor, killed Obumseli with a powerful and downward knife thrust, slicing an important artery near his heart, authorities said last week. An autopsy, they say, runs contrary to what Clenney allegedly said to detectives. Clenney claimed she threw the knife at Obumseli from ten feet away.
Prosecutors say the injury was so severe that Clenney could not have caused it by throwing the knife.
Authorities also publicly released elevator footage dated Feb. 21, about a month after the couple moved to Florida, to bolster their analysis that Clenney was an aggressor and that Obumseli was a victim.
This is video of a previous encounter between murder suspect Courtney Clenney and her now deceased boyfriend. The 2/21/22 incident shows her attacking him in an elevator before he pushed her away. @wsvn pic.twitter.com/Dt3B0rX9Vq
— Sheldon Fox-7 News (@fox_sheldon) August 11, 2022
In the recording, Clenney entered the elevator. She appeared to repeatedly press a button on a digital panel before lashing out and striking the entire panel with her hands. As Obumseli approached, Clenney began to repeatedly strike and push him, making contact with his head and torso. Obumseli pushed Clenney in return and at one point put his hand to her face. He appeared to act from a defensive posture.
What led up to the fracas was not immediately clear. There was no audio in the footage, so it is unknown what words may have been exchanged between the pair.
Clenney’s defense attorney has painted Obumseli as the real abuser in the relationship and has suggested that the model-turned-defendant is more sinned against than sinning.
Attorney Frank Prieto maintained that the elevator footage was “irrelevant” to the murder case and noted that does not show what led up to the Feb. 21 incident.
Prieto explained on Thursday in the following statement to Law&Crime:
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.
If is one thing is clear, it appears the couple experienced relatively constant strife.
“I just want people to know that it had been going on for a long time, and it definitely could have been stopped,” Nesvisky reportedly said while referring to his former neighbors.
He told KTBC he lived near the ill-fated couple for two years and once went to a music festival with them. He said police were called to the apartment multiple times.
“It is domestic violence,” he said. “I mean, if you hear something, see something, say something. You never know what’s going on behind closed doors. It’s a really sad situation and I think ultimately it could have been avoided.”
That friction allegedly continued when the couple moved to Florida in January. Their arguments were so loud neighbors form as a far as two floors above their apartment complained about the “noises and the ruckus,” Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle said last week. Building management had considered evicting the duo because of those noise complaints, she said.
Aaron Keller contributed to this report.
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