The reason? Dunwoody police say McClendon-Thompson had killed his 45-year-old boyfriend about an hour earlier.
James Curtis Jones was found dead in the parking lot of the Arrive Perimeter apartments around 5:20 a.m., police said. He had been shot in the chest. Investigators quickly identified McClendon-Thompson as the suspect.
At 6:23 a.m. Monday, McClendon-Thompson requested a substitute for his social studies classes at McNair High School, the district said Thursday. While classes continued, McClendon-Thompson allegedly fled from his Ellenwood home, where police had gone to speak with him.
After driving only a few miles, McClendon-Thompson struck another vehicle head-on in Clayton County, according to police. The 42-year-old died at the scene of the crash.
According to investigators, McClendon-Thompson and Jones had been dating after meeting online. But in recent days, McClendon Thompson had learned Jones was cheating on him. Two days before he was killed, Jones told a Dunwoody officer that McClendon-Thompson had threatened him, a police report states.
The officer took statements from both men, and McClendon-Thompson said he blocked Jones on his phone, the police report states. But Jones allegedly still emailed McClendon-Thompson, although Jones declined to show the officer the emails. The officer told Jones to end all communication with McClendon-Thompson.
News that McClendon-Thompson had allegedly killed a man before dying in a crash shocked his school community and close friends.
“What I knew of Roy was he was a great individual who had a heart for the community,” attorney Gerald Griggs told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “He was loved. And he gave to this city in ways most people will never know.”
But McClendon-Thompson had been in trouble with police less than three weeks before his death.
In April 2018, a Tabernacle Baptist Church secretary reported to police that between November 2015 and April 2018, McClendon-Thompson made multiple withdrawals from the church account and deposited the money into personal accounts. McClendon-Thompson had served part time as the church’s chief financial officer.
The amount McClendon-Thompson allegedly embezzled from the church totaled $103,843.30, the church secretary told police. An arrest warrant was later issued for McClendon-Thompson charging him with theft by taking and financial transaction card theft.
McClendon-Thompson was arrested at his school and booked into the Fulton County Jail on March 21, records show, and he was released two days later after posting $15,000 bond. Days later, he was back in the classroom.