CINCINNATI -- In a surprise move Monday morning, the man who admitted to shooting and killing 22-year-old Porshia Brooks and injuring her boyfriend in 2013 withdrew his guilty plea at his sentencing hearing.
When 23-year-old Jaleel Smith-Riley chose to reverse his plea halfway through sentencing, it was a shock to the families of both victims and to his attorneys, partially because it's a move that puts the death penalty back on the table.
"At least it's a different stage where we can move on past this part and move on to finding some peace within ourselves," said Porshia's mother, Sharon Brooks.
— Kristen Swilley (@KristenSwilley) September 12, 2016
Smith-Riley is due back in court in October.
Prosecutor Joe Deters has told WCPO that Riley-Smith shot Brooks and her boyfriend, Aron Martin, during a robbery on Nov. 16, 2013. Martin survived, but Brooks died three days later.
The couple was sitting in a parked car on Carthage Avenue in Norwood when Riley-Smith approached the car and ordered Martin out, according to police. After finding Martin had nothing of value to rob, Riley-Smith shot him in the head, then leaned into the vehicle and fatally shot Brooks, Deters said.