Computer hacking case dismissed against Courtney Clenney, parents

Posted at 10:05 AM, July 11, 2024 and last updated 10:42 AM, July 12, 2024

MIAMI (Court TV) — Prosecutors have dropped computer crimes charges against OnlyFans model Courtney Clenney and her parents, two weeks after a judge ruled key evidence was inadmissible in the case. Courtney is charged with the second-degree murder of her boyfriend, Christian Obumseli, who was stabbed to death in the couple’s Miami apartment in 2022. In a separate case, she and her parents, Kim and Deborah Clenney, were accused of trying to access Obumseli’s laptop illegally after his death.

woman sits in jumpsuit

Courtney Clenney appears in court Thursday, July 11, 2024. (Court TV)

While the dismissal of the computer crimes charges clears Kim and Deborah, Courtney still faces the murder charge. She has claimed, through her defense attorneys, that Obumseli was abusive and that he died while she was defending herself during an argument. No trial date has yet been set.

Miami-Dade prosecutors said they “nolle prossed” – or voluntarily dropped the computer charges – for each Clenney because of the lack of evidence left from the judge’s ruling.

“While State does not agree with all the court’s analysis of facts and law, we respect the court’s ruling and accept it,” Chief Assistant District Attorney Kathleen Hogue said in an interoffice staff memo. “Instead, moving forward, the State will concentrate and focus our resources on prosecuting the homicide case against Defendant Courtney Clenney.” Kim Clenney, Courtney’s father, told reporters it was a relief to have the computer case over with so he and his wife could focus on Courtney’s homicide case. “This whole case — from the beginning in August 2022 — has been over the top. It just wastes millions of dollars on a case that is so weak they had to go through the parents to try to strengthen their case. All they did was show their bias. These people, they’re deranged, frankly,” Kim said.

After a hearing featuring Courtney’s attorney testifying to his attorney-client relationship with the OnlyFans model and her parents, a judge ruled on June 27 that prosecutors breached privileged conversations when they accessed text messages between the Clenney family and her attorney. The Clenney family argued those texts led prosecutors to find the laptop, which had been given to a defense investigator.

Judge Laura Cruz said in her ruling it seemed evident that prosecutors did not know of the attorney-client relationship between Courtney’s lawyers and her parents when they started reading the texts. But it should have been clear to prosecutors that the texts were about the homicide case, Cruz said, making them privileged defense work product.

At that point, Cruz said prosecutors should have brought the communications to her to review, noting she probably would have given prosecutors access to the texts through the laptop. Instead, Cruz found prosecutors took it upon themselves — wearing “prosecutorial blinders” — to “unilaterally conclude” the Clenneys and their lawyers committed a crime, which would create an exception allowing prosecutors to breach the privilege, where Cruz found no such exception exists.

Lawyers for the Clenneys said the ruling could have implications for the homicide case and called on the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office to recuse itself.

man and woman appear in court

Deborah and Kim Clenney appear in court July 11, 2024. (Court TV)

Attorney Frank Prieto, co-counsel on Courtney’s homicide case, said on Thursday that prosecutors were “tainted” from having seen privileged, confidential conversations about the homicide case among Courtney and her defense team, including investigators and legal staff. Prieto said he’s prepared to file a motion to recuse Miami-Dade prosecutors if they don’t “ethically do the right thing” by stepping aside from the case and giving it to another office.

Courtney’s attorney on the computer case, Jude M. Faccidomo, echoed Prieto’s call for prosecutors to step aside. “This is really going to be an ethical litmus test for the state of Florida. We’re at an inflection point. Judge Cruz found definitively that they invaded confidential communications not just about the computer but also about Ms. Courtney Clenney’s homicide case. There’s simply no way the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office can remain on that homicide case.”