LUCASVILLE, Ohio - Powerful moments inside an Ohio prison. Longtime Cleveland anti-violence advocate Yvonne Pointer talked one-on-one with her daughter’s killer for the first time.
"I'm grateful that he's agreed to this meeting. I don't go in with any animosity, any anger," Pointer told Fox 8 just before going inside the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility in Lucasville Friday afternoon.
Pointer’s daughter, Gloria, was killed more than 30 years ago.
"I consider that you have to go into the belly of the beast, if you will, to get a better understanding 'cause we're not the people committing the crime, and I think that love and forgiveness is a powerful weapon," she said.
Hernandez Warren, now 60, is serving a life sentence after pleading guilty last year to abducting, raping and murdering Gloria Pointer as she walked to school in Cleveland in December of 1984. Prosecutors say a new look at old DNA eventually linked him to the murder.
Yvonne Pointer says she spoke to Hernandez Warren for a little more than an hour. No glass partition, face-to-face, and she says there were intimate moments.
"I didn't cry, he cried the entire time. Yeah, he did and then he talked about being hopeless and then I told him about a time when I too was hopeless," Pointer said.
Pointer, now a minister and motivational speaker, says she then sang a song to him that she wrote called "You are my reason for living."
"I asked him if I could sing the song to him and he said 'yes' so I did. And then I asked him when I was finished singing if I could pray with him and we did. We joined hands and prayed," Pointer said.
Pointer says she did not ask Warren details about her daughter's death or why he picked her to kill.
"I was very close to asking him that, but I caught myself, he made reference to one thing that made me think that possibly he knew her. He talked about how much she loved basketball and that was true," she said.
Pointer says her goal for the meeting was to talk to Warren about how to prevent other predators from harming children.
She did not want to focus on Gloria's death, but more on her legacy.
"I got a chance to talk to him about the school being built in Ghana, I got to tell him about all the wonderful things that are being done in her name, that she was more than just the way that she died," Pointer said.
Yvonne Pointer says she is not angry at Warren. She also says Hernandez Warren wanted her to let people know he is not a monster.
“I don't know him, you know, I don't know him. I don't know whether he is or not, I just know all of us do things that we are later sorry for. I believe that today he's sorry for that, but it's not going to change the fact that he's here and Gloria is dead."