Cullman County District Attorney Wilson Blaylock announced Tuesday that Jerome Flanigan, one of two persons of interest in connection with a five year-old criminal case, had entered a plea of guilty to the charge of manslaughter for his role in the death of Leslie Clements.
Clements was 33 at the time of her death. Her decomposed body was found inside an apartment on Fuller Street in west Cullman on Sept. 16 of 2016. After approximately two years of investigation, police determined that Flanigan and Kayla Thursby were allegedly connected with Clements’ death. Each defendant was indicted by a Cullman County Grand Jury in 2018.
“After discussing and reviewing the case with the victim’s family, it was determined that this plea would be the best course of action in obtaining justice for Leslie Clements,” said Blaylock in a release. “For the first time in nearly five years, Jerome Flanigan has finally admitted that it was his reckless actions that caused the death of Leslie Clements. We hope that this manslaughter conviction will bring closure to the family and friends of Leslie Clements.”
This week, Flanigan admitted that he recklessly caused Clements’ death in 2016 by providing her with drugs, the DA’s office said. He has been sentenced to 20 years, split to serve 4 years in prison followed by 5 years of supervised probation. Flanagan has additional prior felony convictions for first degree theft, unlawful possession a controlled substance, and reckless endangerment.
Thursby will enter a plea and be sentenced at a later date, according to the district attorney’s office.
“I want to thank investigator Max Bartlett and all others at the Cullman Police Department for their involvement in piecing this difficult case together,” Blaylock said in his statement.
The case was prosecuted by deputy District Attorney John Bryant, assistant District Attorney Jeremy Cline, and Tracey Smith, pre-trial coordinator for the District Attorney’s Office.