Christian “Toby” Obumseli was a handsome Texan who came to Miami to work in cryptocurrency. His girlfriend was Courtney Clenney, of Michigan, a social media influencer who has millions of followers on Instagram and OnlyFans.
On Sunday, Clenney fatally stabbed Obumseli, 27, inside their luxury high-rise Edgewater apartment in what Miami police say was a domestic dispute.
But five days after the killing, police and prosecutors have not yet decided whether to charge Clenney, 25, while they try to sort out whether she was acting in self-defense.
The celebrity gossip website TMZ.com on Friday posted a video of a blood-stained, handcuffed Clenney talking to Miami police officers — shaky images apparently taken from an adjacent building. Obumseli’s supporters have taken to social media to call for an arrest in the case as his relatives held a press conference Friday afternoon outside the State Attorney’s Office.
“My brother was so caring. He was my inspiration and an inspiration to others,” Obumseli’s brother, Jeffrey Obumseli, told reporters, bowing his head and taking a breath. “There are many unanswered questions. We just want justice for my brother.”
Relatives met Friday afternoon with Miami-Dade prosecutors, who told them a decision on filing charges would depend on the evidence gathered by Miami police homicide detectives.
“Devastation doesn’t quite describe what the family is experiencing,” said cousin Karen Egvunna. “He was raised in a very strong family with strong morals and strong values. He does not come from that. The idea that this was warranted is unfeasible.”
Clenney is known as Courtney Tailor on her social-media platforms, where she boasts over two million followers. She and Obumseli had been dating less than two years.
Her defense attorney said Clenney was a victim of domestic violence and acted only out of fear for her life.
“As Courtney struggles with the pain of being a survivor of domestic violence and the aftermath of the events that evening, we ask that the community and Christian’s family allow the police and the state to conduct their independent investigation of the events,” Frank Prieto said. “This is a tragedy for all involved but it was not criminal conduct; Courtney was defending herself and the investigation will reveal exactly that.”
The stabbing happened at the El Paraiso, 650 NE 32nd St., where the two had lived. Clenney frantically called 911 in a panic, and Obumseli was rushed to the hospital, where he died of a single stab wound to the front of his chest.
“The preliminary investigation determined that both Mr. Obumseli and the female had been involved in a physical altercation,” Miami police said in a statement.
She was later hospitalized for a psychiatric evaluation.
Friends of the couple and witnesses gave WPLG Channel 10 various accounts of what appeared to be a stormy relationship. A neighbor told the station Obumseli swung at her about a week ago.
The couple had apparently broken up last month, with Clenney’s mother visiting to help her daughter, who was afraid of leaving the apartment because Obumseli kept trying to find ways into the building and sleeping in common areas, multiple sources said.
Then on Friday, April 1, Miami police were called to the apartment because of a domestic dispute. Miami police officers noticed bruises on Clenney’s arms and legs, law enforcement sources told the Miami Herald. No arrests were made at that time.
The fatal stabbing happened two days later. After Sunday’s stabbing, Clenney claimed she stabbed Obumseli only after he attacked her, pushed her to the ground and grabbed her neck, law-enforcement sources told the Herald.
Florida’s Stand Your Ground law makes it more challenging to file charges, or get convictions, when people claim self-defense.
“When the investigation is completed, the State Attorney Office will review the police department’s evidentiary presentation and take appropriate legal action in accordance with the law,” the office said in a statement.