An OnlyFans model and her boyfriend had been involved in a "tempestuous" relationship, with neighbors in their Miami high-rise complaining of loud fights and a violent elevator encounter caught on camera in the months before she fatally stabbed him, authorities said Thursday.
Courtney Clenney, 26, was arrested in Hawaii Wednesday and is expected to be extradited to Miami-Dade to face a second-degree murder charge in the April 3 killing of 27-year-old Christian Toby Obumseli.
At a news conference Thursday, Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle outlined the charges against Clenney, who went by the name Courtney Tailor on social media including OnlyFans, and has more than 2 million Instagram followers.
Fernandez Rundle said Clenney and Obumseli had been "involved in an extremely tempestuous and combative relationship" since November 2020, and that Obumseli was a victim of domestic violence.
An arrest warrant said Clenney had been arrested in Las Vegas in July 2021 for domestic battery on Obumseli in their hotel.
"The violent and toxic two-year relationship of Christian Obumseli and Courtney Clenney did not have to end in tragedy with Christian's murder as a victim of domestic violence," Fernandez Rundle said.
U.S. & World
The two had moved to South Florida from Texas in January 2022 and took up residence in the luxury One Paraiso condo building in Edgewater.
Shortly after they moved in, security and building staff began documenting several incidents of loud arguments between the couple, with other tenants complaining about the noises, including some two floors above them, Fernandez Rundle said.
Fernandez Rundle showed surveillance footage of the couple engaged in a violent encounter in the building's elevator on Feb. 21, about a month after they moved in.
"It certainly appears that the defendant was aggressively attacking Christian," Fernandez Rundle said.
The building's management was even moving toward evicting them over noise complaints in the weeks leading up to the killing, Fernandez Rundle said.
The two had separated at various times but in the last week of March, Clenney kicked Obumseli out of the apartment, but they rekindled their relationship and he moved back in on April 1, Fernandez Rundle said.
But almost immediately there were more arguments, leading to police responding to their apartment that same day, April 1, Fernandez Rundle said.
The day of the killing, April 3, the two appeared to be getting along, and had filmed themselves and their dogs, Fernandez Rundle said.
Obumseli left the apartment in the early afternoon, and Clenney called him around 4:01 p.m. before she went live on Instagram.
He returned to their apartment at 4:33 p.m. and at 4:57 p.m. Clenney called 911 to report that he was stabbed and needed help, Fernandez Rundle said.
In the 911 call Obumseli can be heard repeatedly saying that he was dying and losing feeling in his arm, and Clenney tells him "I'm so sorry baby," Fernandez Rundle said.
Around the same time, neighbors were calling the building manager about a disturbance at the apartment and security had called police.
Video obtained by TMZ showed a woman, believed to be Clenney, covered in blood and surrounded by police officers who responded to the apartment after the stabbing.
Fernandez Rundle said Clenney admitted to police to having caused the three-inch stab wound to Obumseli's chest, but gave inconsistent accounts about the incident.
Clenney told investigators that Obumseli shoved her against a wall by her neck, then threw her to the ground and when he allowed her to get up, she grabbed a knife from a kitchen, Fernandez Rundle said.
She said that as Obumseli started coming toward her, she threw the knife at him from about 10 feet, Fernandez Rundle said.
But the Miami-Dade Medical Examiner determined that the knife came at a downward angle, and said that throwing it wouldn't have caused the fatal wound, Fernandez Rundle said.
Police also found no visible injuries on Clenney and she never said Obumseli had been armed, Fernandez Rundle said.
But Clenney's defense attorney, Frank Prieto, said in a statement to NBC 6 Wednesday that Clenney had acted in self-defense.
"Obumseli attacked her and choked her that evening; Courtney had no choice but to meet force with force," Prieto said in part. "Further, we are disappointed that the State Attorney sought an arrest warrant in this matter; we have cooperated with the investigation from the beginning with both the State and the City of Miami Police Department. We have always offered to self-surrender if charges were filed in an effort to begin the legal process of clearing her of the charges."
Prieto added that Clenney was in Hawaii for rehabilitation for substance abuse and post-traumatic stress disorder.
"Courtney was seeking treatment for her PTSD and related issues to this case and it is an absolute injustice to charge a victim of domestic violence and human trafficking with a crime; Courtney was clearly defending herself," he said. "We will vigorously defend Courtney and clear her of this unfounded and baseless charge."
It was unknown when Clenney could be extradited to Miami to face the charge.
Larry Handfield, an attorney for Obumseli's family, said the arrest is a relief for them.
"This is a day that they only hoped for. It's very very sad and they're dealing with the pain as we speak," Handfield said.