CLEVELAND -- A three-judge panel on Friday sentenced Hernandez Warren to life in prison for the 1984 murder of Cleveland teenager Gloria Pointer. Warren would only be eligible for parole after serving a full 30 years.
The panel also sentenced Warren to 10 to 25 years for rape to run concurrent with the life sentence for murder.
The sentencing for Warren, 59, came two days after he pleaded guilty to charges as part of an agreement that took the death penalty off the table.
The same three-judge panel -- Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judges Michael Astrab, David Matia and John O'Donnell -- accepted Warren's plea sentenced him Friday.
In court before sentencing, Gloria's uncle and mother spoke.
Her uncle angrily told Warren that "he would forgive him when he's dead," and asked the court to protect the community from people like Hernandez.
Yvonne Pointer, who in the decades since Gloria's death has crusaded against violence and for the protection of the city's children, read a poem, in court. Yvonne Pointer says the world has been waiting nearly 30 years to hear from Gloria and read the emotional poem, which she wrote from Gloria's point-of-view.
It read in part: "Mommy speak for me. Tell the world of the pain that I felt with the blow to my head as he left my body in the rain. Mommy speak for me even though my body is not there. Please find someone who will listen."
Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Tim McGinty issued a statement following sentencing for Hernandez: "I am confident that today's conviction ensures that Mr. Warren never again preys upon a child here or anywhere else. His first parole hearing comes in 2043, when he will be 88, and the County prosecutor's office will be there to oppose it if he's still alive. Make no mistake: This child rapist and murderer is leaving Cuyahoga County, never to return alive."
McGinty called the day a victory for Yvonne Pointer, who channeled her grief into a tireless search for her daughter's killer.
Gloria Pointer disappeared while walking to school on Dec. 6, 1984. She left her home on East 114th Street in Cleveland around 7 a.m. She planned to meet a classmate and continue on to Harry E. Davis School, where Pointer was to get an award for perfect attendance.
She never reached her friend's home.
Her body was discovered a few hours later at the base of a fire escape behind an apartment building on Orville Avenue.
Warren was not arrested in the case until May of 2013 after a new DNA test showed a match to evidence collected in the Pointer case.