A slain Ohio woman whose estranged husband is accused of murder was denied an order of protection against the suspect by a judge days earlier.
Authorities found the body of 22-year-old Gaberien Clevenger on February 11 in a wooded area outside of Shelby, Ohio, after being directed to the location by 21-year-old Alec Blair, the husband she was planning to divorce, according to a statement from the Richland County Sheriff’s Office.
Lisa Davis, a friend of Clevenger’s who reported her missing the prior afternoon, said Clevenger’s family was told the victim had allegedly been stabbed to death in Blair’s Jeep, reports the Mansfield News Journal.
On January 22 Clevenger filed paperwork with Richland County Domestic Relations Court, seeking help and alleging that Blair “has been harassing me over phone. Shows up at my house and breaks my things. Screams in my face. Shows up at my work and starts things to upset/embarrass me. Keeps sending me threats,” according to the newspaper.
The court denied an immediate order of protection on that date, and set a full hearing for Feb. 5 that Blair missed.
In ultimately denying the request to grant the protection order, magistrate Sharon M. May concluded in her written decision that Clevenger “failed to testify to any acts of domestic violence. Rather, she [Clevenger] presented two marked exhibits of social media messages sent to her by the respondent [Blair],” reports the News Journal.
May’s decision continued: “The exhibits contain excessive profanity and discuss the parties’ shared pets, but do not contain any threats of violence toward the petitioner. Clevenger had not contacted law enforcement regarding the messages and did not know the exact dates. Clevenger did contact law enforcement when she believed her residence was broken into. However, she said she did not see any individual who entered her residence at the time, even though she was present at the time. She stated she believed it to be the respondent [Blair] because there was no forced entry into the home, therefore, assuming the entry was gained by key.”
In a statement after Clevenger’s alleged murder, Richland County Domestic Relations Judge Heather Cockley said that “the court is deeply heartbroken to hear of the passing of Gaberien Clevenger. The magistrate assigned to this case has extensive experience in cases dealing with domestic violence, and working as a prosecutor and as an advocate for victims of domestic violence. The magistrate assigned to hear this case is responsible for applying the facts, as presented, to the law, and found that domestic [violence] had not been proven by a preponderance of the evidence.”
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Clevenger’s friend Davis told the News Journal that everything “went down the tubes” after Clevenger and Blair married. “She said she was really scared and she didn’t know how to leave him,” Davis said.
“She said she felt like she was in prison, is how she described it for me,” Davis said. “She had to cook for him and clean for him and she had to give him all her money. If she didn’t do what he wanted, then he would break her things. It was all about him.”
Davis alleged that Blair was destroying Clevenger’s property and that he sent nude photos of her to people.
Davis reported her friend missing to Shelby police shortly after 4 p.m. February 10 when Clevenger failed to show up for work at a Bob Evans Restaurant managed by Davis’ son.
Clevenger was staying with Davis but was last reported seen in Blair’s Jeep, according to police. Officers located the Jeep at Blair’s workplace and “observed evidence inside the Jeep that led them to believe a crime had been committed,” the sheriff’s office said in a news release.
Blair was questioned, alerted authorities to the location of the victim’s body, and was arrested and jailed on a charge of murder, police said. He was being held in the Richland County jail on a $500,000 bond.
It could not be immediately determined whether he’d entered a plea or retained an attorney to speak on his behalf.