** Watch prior coverage in the player above.
CLEVELAND (WJW) — Two of the six people charged in the November 2021 torturing and murder of 21-year-old Alishah Pointer in East Cleveland pleaded guilty Monday to their roles in her kidnapping and death, and will likely face life in prison.
Prosecutors dismissed most of the charges against Destiny Henderson, 18, of Cleveland, and Portria Williams, 31, of Cleveland, and stipulated sentences in exchange for their testimony against the other defendants, who are currently set to stand trial in March, court records show.
Williams pleaded guilty to felony counts of aggravated murder with a firearm specification; kidnapping; and conspiracy to commit kidnapping, court records show. Williams faces life in prison with the eligibility for parole after 23 years.
Henderson pleaded guilty to a felony count of involuntary manslaughter, which was downgraded from aggravated murder; kidnapping; and conspiracy to commit kidnapping. Henderson faces life in prison with the eligibility for parole after 25 years.
Both are set for sentencing on Feb. 6, 2023.
Under the Reagan Tokes Law, which took effect in Ohio in March 2019, both could be ultimately stay in prison longer on their kidnapping and conspiracy charges, following state corrections hearings prior to their release.
Prosecutors dismissed the remaining counts for each.
According to the 20-count indictment, each of the six defendants played a role in the kidnapping of Pointer, whom prosecutors allege was used as a ransom to gain information on the whereabouts of another person the group believed was responsible for the murder of another person just days earlier, on Nov. 2, 2021.
The co-conspirators’ goal was “exacting revenge,” reads the indictment.
Williams and Henderson accompanied several of the alleged co-conspirators in a search for Pointer. At one location, Williams used a firearm to kidnap two other people, in order to discover Alishah Pointer’s actual location,” the indictment reads.
The group then allegedly lured Pointer to another location, then brought her to Williams’ residence. There, they allegedly held Pointer captive for more than 20 hours and tortured her, using her captivity as a means to lure out the person they believed responsible for the person’s death.
They then allegedly took Pointer to another location, where she was shot and killed. Williams fired multiple times and Henderson pulled the trigger of a gun that did not actually fire, according to the indictment.
Pointer’s body was found in the basement of a burned-out home along Savannah Avenue in East Cleveland on Nov. 5, 2021, days after she was reported missing.
** Watch prior coverage in the player above of Pointer’s sister speaking out in court.
Four other defendants still have pending charges, including:
- Nathaniel Poke Jr., 23, of Cleveland
- Anthony Bryant, 19, of Warrensville Heights
- Hakeem-Ali Shomo, 31, of Shaker Heights
- Brittany Smith, 33, of Cleveland
Each faces 13 counts, including: aggravated murder; murder; felonious assault; kidnapping; and conspiracy.
The defendants were set for trial on Dec. 12, but that trial date was moved to March 6, 2023, court records show. Their plea offers remain valid until Dec. 30.