Friday, July 18, 2003

Northside teen pleads guilty to girl's 2001 murder

By Sharon Turco
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Mary Hall

An 18-year-old Northside teen, charged as an adult in the brutal 2001 death of a 13-year-old acquaintance, could spend the rest of his life in prison.

Dwayne Henry, who was 16 when Mary Hall was killed, pleaded guilty to a charge of murder Thursday. He had been charged with aggravated murder, murder and kidnapping.

Hamilton County Common Pleas Judge Andrew West sentenced Henry to spend 15 years to life in prison.

Mary was found beaten to death in an abandoned building at Chase and Dane avenues on Jan. 27, 2001.

"Justice has come," said Gwen Kreitzer, who was Hall's sixth-grade teacher at Saint Bonafice School. "It's been a long 21/2 years."

Authorities say Henry gave a statement saying he hit Mary with a board, slashed her throat and gouged her eyes out.

Then he pushed her body through a hole in the floor of the building to the basement several stories below.

Prosecutors said he intended to have sex with the girl and hurt her. She tried to get away but was held against her will, they said.

Henry was initially found incompetent to stand trial, but West later determined Henry was faking incompetence after seeing reports from five medical experts.

Kreitzer said Mary's classmates, now heading to high school, will never forget her.

"This made them grow up very quickly," Kreitzer said.


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