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EAST CLEVELAND, Ohio (WJW) – The Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas has granted a mistrial in the Alishah Pointer murder case.
Jury selection began last week for the trial of three of six people charged in connection to the torture and murder of the 21-year-old woman from East Cleveland.
Prior to the trial resuming Monday morning, there was a motion for mistrial, according to court officials.
“Court staff had sent a procedural communication to the parties, which was inadvertently sent only to the prosecutors,” a statement from the courts said. “Because this could be considered ex-parte communication, out of an abundance of caution, the court granted the mistrial and the judge recused himself from the case.”
According to a statement from the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office, the case will be retried in the next couple of days and has been assigned to Judge Janet Burnside.
Prosecutors say Pointer was lured out of her home in November of 2021, taken to several different locations and physically assaulted in order to get information about a friend’s death.
She was later driven to an abandoned home and shot several times. Her body was found days later in the basement of a burned-out house on Savannah Avenue.
Anthony Bryant, 19, Brittany Smith, 33, and Hakeem-Ali Shomo, 31, face several charges including murder, kidnapping, and conspiracy.
Two others charged in the case pled guilty in November 2022 to their roles in her kidnapping and death, and will likely face life in prison. Portria Williams, 31, Nathaniel Poke, 23 and Destiny Henderson,18, are scheduled to be sentenced, later this month.