State-fled murder suspect appears in Columbus courtroom

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COLUMBUS, Georgia (WRBL) –A woman accused of fleeing the state after killing a man she was romantically involved with made her first court appearance in Columbus on Monday morning, May 3.

Vivian Fletcher, 35, appeared briefly before Recorder’s Court. She told the judge that she wanted to hire a private lawyer. The judge then delayed the hearing for three weeks.

Fletcher is accused of stabbing Antonio Blanding, 31, to death on August 8, 2020. Fletcher was apprehended in late April in Shelby County, Florida.

Blanding’s mother and other family members were in court. District Attorney Mark Jones was handling the case.

On August 8, 2020, Columbus Police officers responded at 32nd Avenue and Cusseta Road at 2:30 a.m. They located Blanding, who was suffering from what appeared to be stab wounds. Emergency medical services responded to the scene but were unable to resuscitate him. Muscogee County Coroner Buddy Bryan pronounced Blanding dead at 3:01 am The homicide unit attended the scene and took charge of the investigation.

The investigation culminated in the issuance of arrest warrants against Fletcher in September 2020 for murder and possession of a firearm or knife in the commission of a felony. Fletcher was arrested in Shelby County, Florida, and extradited to Columbus.

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