Mistrial declared for 3 suspects charged with the torture, murder of East Cleveland woman

Published: Mar. 13, 2023 at 10:57 AM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - A mistrial was declared Monday in Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas for the three remaining suspects charged in connection with the kidnapping, torture and murder of Alishah Pointer, 22.

Anthony Bryant, Brittany Smith, and Hakeem-Ali Shomo face multiple charges; including, aggravated murder, kidnapping, conspiracy and felonious assault.

Their jury trial began on March 6 in front of Judge John Russo. According to the Cuyahoga County prosecutor, the mistrial was granted due to a “communication error.” A new trial date has not yet been set.

Pointer’s body was found on Nov. 9, 2021 in the basement of a burned out abandoned home in the 14500 block of Savannah Avenue in East Cleveland.

Three other people have already pleaded guilty and have agreed to testify against Bryant, Smith and Shomo.

Nathaniel Poke Jr. pleaded guilty to the charges of involuntary manslaughter, kidnapping and conspiracy. He will be sentenced on March 27.

Destiny Henderson, 18, and Portria Williams, 31, also pleaded guilty.

Henderson pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter, kidnapping and conspiracy. Williams pleaded guilty to aggravated murder, kidnapping and conspiracy. Their sentencing is also scheduled for March 27.

Alishah Pointer
Alishah Pointer(Source: FBI, Cleveland Division)

According to new court documents, on Nov. 4, 2021, Henderson, Williams, Poke Jr. and Hakeem Ali Shomo drove to a home near Glenmont and Superior Roads in East Cleveland and forced two women to get into their car at gunpoint.

Hakeem-Ali Shomo, Brittany Smith, Nathaniel Poke Jr.
Hakeem-Ali Shomo, Brittany Smith, Nathaniel Poke Jr.((Source: Cuyahoga County Sheriff))

The four suspects then allegedly had the female victims take them to Pointer’s location.

Once at Pointer’s location, the suspects lured her into their vehicle .

The Cuyahoga County prosecutor said after releasing their first two kidnapping victims, the suspects drove Pointer to Williams’s home and held her into the next day.

While there, Brittany Smith and Anthony Bryant arrived and Poke left, according to documents.

Shomo, Smith and Bryant then allegedly physically assaulted Pointer in order to gain information related to their friend’s death.

Shomo then allegedly left the home and Henderson, Smith, Williams and Bryant forced Pointer into their vehicle and drove her to an abandoned home on Savannah Avenue.

After forcing her inside the house, Williams and Bryant fired several shots at Pointer, according to court documents.

Anthony Bryant
Anthony Bryant((Source: Cuyahoga County Sheriff))