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Clifton Eugene Spencer was a close friend of Stanton. The pair were often seen together, usually at one of the local bars. On February 2, 1990, Spencer was playing pool with Stanton’s ex-boyfriend Mike Brandon along with a few other people. Spencer recalls that he was being given a hard time by some of the other bar patrons because as he was the only Black person there that night. When he decided to leave the bar, he saw Stanton in the parking lot of her apartment talking to a man that Spencer didn’t know. She called out to him, asking Spencer to have Brandon come out and talk to her. Spencer went back into the pub and relayed the message, but Brandon declined to leave (The Virginian-Pilot).
Later, Spencer went to Stanton’s apartment. She was alone and he found her drinking vodka. She sent him out to acquire crack cocaine, but when he returned to her apartment approximately 30 minutes later, he relayed that he was unable to find any. But the two stayed up for a while, continuing to drink. Spencer says that he passed out at Stanton’s apartment, awaking during the early morning hours and leaving. He then went to a friend’s home and slept there. His friend later said that Spencer arrived at 4:30 a.m. (per The Coastland Times).
After Stanton’s body was found, investigators quickly determined that the last person who admitted seeing her alive was Spencer. All suspicion fell on him as a case was built for his arrest.