Murder suspect Christopher Clements had multiple run-ins with Tucson police
TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - The Tucson Police Department has released documents detailing their multiple run-ins with Christopher Clements, the man accused of killing Isabel Celis and Maribel Gonzales.
Starting in 2007, Clements was arrested four times by the TPD. Clements, a registered sex offender, has faced charges of living too close to a school, lying to police, burglary, child abuse and pimping in Tucson. He is also facing burglary and theft charges in Maricopa County.
Clements and his fiance at the time, Melissa Stark, also had run-ins with police as victims of theft.
On numerous occasions, Clements contacted TPD about problems he was having with different people, including a neighbor, a man Stark sold a vehicle to and friends of Stark.
Clements pleaded not guilty to 22 felony charges -- including first-degree murder, kidnapping, sexual exploitation of a minor and possession of child porn -- on Monday, Sept. 24.
Clements is being held in the Pima County Jail on a $2 million cash bond.
Authorities claim Clements kidnapped and killed Isabel and Maribel before dumping their bodies in desert area near Trico and West Avra Valley roads in Pima County.
Isabel was 6 years old when she vanished from her parents' east-side home in April 2012. Maribel was 13 years old when she disappeared while walking to a friend’s house in 2014.
Maribel’s body was recovered days after her disappearance. Isabel’s remains were found in early 2017, when Clements led federal agents to it.
Clements had a considerable criminal history long before he was arrested for the deaths of Isabel and Maribel.
In 1998, he was convicted of first-degree sexual abuse in Oregon. Four year later, Clements was convicted of identity theft and assault in Washington.
In 2006 and 2007, he was twice convicted of failure to register as a sex offender.
In late 2007, he was living in Tucson and had his first run-in with Tucson police. That led to a charge of false reporting after he gave officers a false name.
Clements was charged with living too close to a school as a sex offender in 2013.
In October 2015, Clements and his fiancee Melissa Stark were arrested in a sex sting. Clements was charged with pimping and child abuse while Stark was charged with prostitution and child abuse.
Less than a year later, Clements was in trouble again when he was arrested on burglary charges in Tucson.
He was also accused of burglarizing homes in Maricopa County.
According to the arrest report, Clements was stopped by a TPD officer while at a convenience store on West 22nd Street on Oct. 5, 2007.
Clements gave officers two false names -- Donald Johnson and Christopher Anderson.
Clements finally told officers his real name but refused to tell them how long he had been in Tucson.
Clements was arrested on a false reporting charge and told to register as a sex offender with the state once he was released from prison.
Read more about this case HERE.
In 2013, Clements moved to a home in the 5800 block of East Elida Street.
A “concerned citizen” called TPD in April to report as a registered sex offender, Clements was living too close to a school.
Clements was only 691 feet from Ida Flood Dodge Middle and 586 feet from the Adventure School. By state law, a person convicted of a dangerous crime against children cannot live less than 1,000 feet from a school.
Officers went to his home and tried to talk to Clements about the situation. But he refused to talk or sign a citation so officers left the area.
Two weeks later, officers arrested him at the home.
During the arrest, officers said Clements refused to give his name and argued with them.
According to the report, Clements called officers “pigs”, “cowards” and made several comments about an officer’s ethnicity. He also dared them to uncuff him and “see what happens.”
When officers tried to interview Stark, Clements' fiance, he yelled at her and said “don’t say anything, and don’t talk to these f***king pigs.”
Clements also said the Boston Marathon bombing suspects were heroes and had more class than any “pig.”
Read more about this arrest HERE.
In October 2015, Clements and Stark were caught up in a sex sting.
TPD officers said they answered an ad on Backpage, a now shuttered website that was used for prostitution.
An undercover operation was set up at a local hotel and officers said Stark showed up in their room.
Stark left before a deal could be reached and she tried to run away. While running, she was seen screaming into her cell phone to alert Clements to the setup.
Clements was arrested while in a vehicle in the hotel parking lot. Inside the vehicle, authorities found a young child.
Stark told police she and Clements had been together for three to four years and the child was theirs together.
Stark claimed she was an escort, not a hooker.
During his arrest, Clements was heard screaming and cussing at officers while also banging his head on a car window.
Both were charged with child abuse because of the young child in the vehicle. Stark was charged with not having an escort license while Clements faced a pimping charge.
Those charges were later dismissed, read the arrest report HERE.
In October 2016, Clements was involved in an incident at a gas station.
According to the report, Clements and a woman got into a shouting match over how he parked his vehicle.
No charges were filed in the case.
The woman claimed Clements threatened her by pointing to a gun in his vehicle.
Clements told authorities he did not do it and did not even have a firearm. He did have a taser in his car.
In January 2017, Clements was arrested for a burglary, theft and criminal damage case from June 2016.
Authorities said Clements broke into a Tucson home and stole jewelry and money.
According documents, investigators found Clements' DNA in the home and the suspect had poured bleach on the carpet in an effort to destroy evidence.
- 1993: Christopher Clements accused of molesting a very young child. He was never charged.
- JUNE 1998: Clements convicted of first-degree sexual abuse in Oregon.
- 2002: Clements convicted of identity theft and assault in Washington.
- DECEMBER 2006: Clements convicted of failure to register as a sex offender in Florida.
- SEPTEMBER 2007: Clements convicted of failure to register as a sex offender in Oregon.
- OCTOBER 2007: Clements arrested on charge of false reporting in Pima County.
- DECEMBER 2011: Clements registers as a sex offender for home in 1900 block of South Craycroft Road.
- MARCH 2012: Clements registers as a sex offender for home in 5800 block of East Elida Street.
- APRIL 2012: Isabel Celis' family calls 911 after she went missing from their home.
- APRIL 2013: Clements arrested on charge of living too close to a school.
- JUNE 2014: Maribel Gonzales disappears while walking to visit a friend. Her body is found days later near North Trico and West Avra Valley roads in rural Pima County.
- OCTOBER 2015: Clements arrested on pimping and child abuse charges in Tucson.
- JUNE 2016: Clements arrested on burglary charges in Tucson.
- FEBRUARY 2017: Someone contacts FBI alleging Clements has information about Isabel.
- MARCH 2017: Clements leads federal agents to human remains near North Trico and West Avra Valley roads in rural Pima County. DNA testing reveals the remains belong to Isabel Celis.
- SEPT. 15, 2018: Authorities announce 22-count indictment against Christopher Clements in deaths of Isabel and Maribel.
- SEPT. 18, 2018: Clements gets into fight with two inmates at the Maricopa County Jail.
- SEPT. 23, 2018: Clements extradited to Pima County to face charges.
- SEPT. 24, 2018: Clements enters plea of not guilty.
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