Updated at 6:22 p.m.

A fight many couples are familiar with, a fight over money, turned deadly the day after Christmas two years ago, and now a 59-year-old woman won’t see the outside of a cell until she’s at least 81.

Sitting at the defense table Thursday afternoon, the defendant fidgeted in her seat, bouncing her legs up and down and continuously moving her jaw.

Her lawyer said her twitching was involuntary, her body’s way of coping with what she’d done.

“That shows you how bad this has destroyed her,” Attorney Walter Paramore told the court.

Sherry Poindexter, 59, pleaded guilty to second degree murder this week after fatally shooting her husband, 53-year-old Barry Poindexter, on Dec. 26, 2014.

The fight began on Christmas Day, a holiday that can be stressful, according to her lawyer, Paramore.

“The conversation got intense,” he said.

She doesn’t remember pulling the trigger, Paramore said, but two shell casings from a .40 caliber Glock were found at the scene, according to District Attorney Ernie Lee.

The fatal shot was the one to Barry Poindexter’s head, Lee told the court.

Afterwards, Sherry Poindexter went to the bank and took out $28,000, driving to Sanford to give $14,000 to one son and giving $16,000 to her other son in Virginia, Paramore said.

“She quit thinking about herself,” he said, an action he said was incredible.

After splitting the money between her children, Paramore said his client came back to the house and set the bed on fire because she was so overcome with the reality of what she’d done. She then went to the Holly Ridge Police Department to turn herself in.

Barry Poindexter was found on the bed, laying on his right side, hands under his head and his legs crossed. There was charring on 70 percent of his body, Lee said. Lee said investigators found traces of gasoline in the bedroom.

“The walls were dark with smoke,” Lee said.

Lee told the court Sherry Poindexter contemplated suicide that night and Paramore said two attempts have been made while she’s been in jail since her arrest.

“It’s a very painful set of facts,” Paramore said.

Her actions were completely out of character for her, Paramore said, and it was her choice to take a plea deal, to avoid the pressure of a trial.

Lee said Barry Poindexter’s family felt a sense of relief and were grateful to not be going to trial. The family suffered an extreme tragedy, he said, and none of them elected to speak during the sentencing.

In light of the aggravating circumstances — as her victim’s wife, Poindexter was in a position of trust and confidence — Presiding Judge Charles Henry decided the aggravating circumstances outweighed any mitigating factors that could have been considered when determining her sentence.

He sentenced Poindexter to a minimum of 22 years to a maximum of more than 27 years in prison for killing her husband.


A Holly Ridge woman has pleaded guilty to killing her husband.

Sherry Poindexter pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in Onslow County Superior Court Thursday.

She was sentenced to 22 to 27 years in prison.

She was arrested Dec. 26, 2014 in Barry Poindexter’s death.

Poindexter called 911 the night of the murder to tell the Holly Ridge Police Department she had killed her husband and had come to the police department with the alleged murder weapon in her car.

She was indicted on June 16, 2015.