In the early days of December 1984, Yvonne Pointer was alerted by her daughter’s school that 14-year-old Gloria Pointer was missing. Yvonne’s worst fears materialized when Gloria was discovered dead. With no evidence to lead them anywhere and no possible suspects, the case ran cold for a long time, but the relentless pursuit of justice by Yvonne and the police eventually led to the capture of Hernandez Warren as the killer. ‘Dateline: Promise to Gloria’ investigates the circumstances surrounding Gloria’s death and the eventual capture of Hernandez Warren years after the crime.
Who is Hernandez Warren?
On December 6, 1984, Hernandez Warren resided in Cleveland, Ohio. Between 7 am and 8 am that morning, he observed 14-year-old Gloria Pointer walking toward Harry E. Davis Junior High School. Gloria, excited about receiving an award for perfect attendance, had planned to visit her friend’s house for hair styling before walking to school together. Unfortunately, Gloria never arrived at her friend’s home. As she journeyed, Warren spotted her, trailed her, and forcefully pulled her into a building by grabbing her arm.
Warren took her to the bottom of a fire escape stairwell, where he sexually assaulted her in a drug-induced haze. As he was leaving, Gloria tried following him out of the building, which is when he pushed her down the stairs and grabbed a heavy object like a brick or a pipe and hit her with it repeatedly. Gloria died on the spot. She was found by the custodian of the building a few hours later, she was partially clothed, and the rest of her clothes were found near her. The custodian informed the authorities and the news was given to Gloria’s mother, Yvonne Pointer.
The brutal murder of Gloria Pointer initially stumped the police, who lacked evidence to identify her killer. Several witnesses mentioned seeing a black man following her and grabbing her arm, but there was no means of identifying the assailant. The case went cold until 2013, when technological advancements allowed for a DNA match. DNA recovered from the crime scene was linked to Hernandez Warren. He lived in the same area as Gloria in 1985 and he was a convicted felon. Warren had been convicted in a case of assault and rape during a burglary in 1985 and had spent 16 years in prison for the same.
Warren had other drug-related convictions as well and in April 2013, after a reporter insisted that the DNA matching technique be used by the authorities to identify the killer Warren was arrested in May 2013. As the police brought Warren in for questioning, he confessed to his crimes before he could go to trial as he was facing the possibility of receiving the death penalty. He detailed how he had followed her and then assaulted and killed her all these years ago. When asked about the motivations for his act, Warren said, “I killed her, but why and how, I don’t know. I was f—– up. I was f—– up.”
Warren also said that he recalled that the girl was calling for her mother in her final moments, and after reliving the moments, he stopped talking and started crying. He said that he was always under the influence during the time and had no justification for his acts. In a moment of vulnerability, Warren said that he feared going to prison as the other inmates would kill him. He said, “They’re going to kill me in the joint. Cause she was so young” In the same interview, Warren regretted his actions and expressed that he felt guilty for his crimes and understood the gravity of what he had done. He said, “I’m a punk. I ain’t got no heart … I deserve to die. I’ve been thinking about this since I got out of the joint.”
Where is Hernandez Warren Now?
During his sentencing hearing, Hernandez Warren expressed remorse and apologized to Yvonne Pointer, Gloria Pointer’s mother, acknowledging his accountability for the pain inflicted on the family. He received a sentence of thirty years to life, encompassing one count of aggravated murder and one count of rape. In March 2019, Warren attempted to withdraw his plea deal, claiming he was not informed of his rights and had been coerced into admitting guilt by prosecutors. However, his request was denied. Currently incarcerated at the Toledo Correctional Institution in Lucas County, Ohio, Warren is eligible for parole in 2043.
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