Police: Evansville man accused in fatal shooting had previously threatened to kill victim

EVANSVILLE – An Evansville man accused of shooting and killing a woman on Sunday had previously threatened to kill the victim and himself, police say.

Clifton Bryant Fletcher Sr., 44, was arrested and preliminarily charged with murder. According to a probable cause affidavit filed in the case, he shot and killed 37-year-old Gamia Lechelle Stuart in the 1600 block of Clayton Avenue.

Fletcher also reportedly threatened to kill Stuart – and himself – during an altercation in April, the affidavit states.

In the Sunday shooting, police responded to the scene after dispatch received several 911 calls for a person shot outside a home on Clayton Avenue. When officers arrived, they found Stuart lying on a concrete pad between two apartments. She had been shot several times and was declared dead at the scene.

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Multiple .45-caliber shell casings were scattered near Stuart. According to the affidavit, witnesses said she had been shot by a Black male driving a white Chevrolet Tahoe.

Police soon spoke to a friend who claimed to have been on the phone with Stuart at the time of the shooting. The friend reportedly told police Stuart claimed before the shooting that Fletcher had been following her. The day before, Stuart had reportedly spotted him waiting for her in the parking lot of her apartment complex.

Eventually "the phone went silent,” the affidavit states. “A few moments later, someone got on the phone and told (the friend) that (Stuart) had been shot.”

After a records search, investigators discovered a white Tahoe “related” to Fletcher, the affidavit states. The vehicle was registered to another woman, who reportedly told police she had loaned Fletcher the vehicle on Saturday, but that she hadn’t seen or heard from him since.

About an hour later, police found a white Tahoe parked in the 3800 block of Atlanta Court. Through the window, they saw a “large-framed” handgun splayed in the front passenger seat, the affidavit states. After obtaining a search warrant, police reportedly found prescriptions belonging to Fletcher in the middle console.

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In a subsequent news release from EPD, spokeswoman Sgt. Anna Gray said investigators learned Fletcher had "left the jurisdiction," but police set up a roadblock and stopped him when he reentered the city. He was arrested without incident and booked into the Vanderburgh County jail just after 11 p.m. Sunday.

As of Monday morning, court records didn't list any hearings in the case. Fletcher was still being held on a 72-hour hold.

Previous threat

Fletcher reportedly threatened to kill the victim during an altercation on April 27.

According to a police report from that incident, Fletcher showed up at Stuart's house with a handgun and “threatened to kill her and himself, confined her to a moving vehicle, and battered her resulting in minor injury."

He then reportedly “commandeered” Stuart's van and fled. Police arrived at the scene soon after, but Fletcher never came back.

“I provided the reporter a list of social services which may be of benefit to her, domestic battery victim`s rights paperwork, and the associated case number,” the responding officer wrote at the time. “The reporter recovered her vehicle and was released.”

There are no court records showing Fletcher was ever charged in that incident.

This article originally appeared on Evansville Courier & Press: EPD: Suspect in fatal Evansville shooting previously threatened victim