Two months shy of the three-year anniversary of Aliza Sherman’s brutal murder, her divorce attorney has been indicted on charges related to the murder investigation – marking the first charges made in connection to the case.
Gregory J. Moore faces seven charges connected to the murder investigation, including charges that he tampered with evidence, misled the victim and purposely lied to police investigating Sherman’s March 24, 2013 stabbing death in downtown Cleveland. All told, Moore faces 16 charges, which include charges related to three 2012 bomb threats, according to a Jan. 28 statement issued by the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office.
Sherman’s daughter, Jennifer, who’s led the Justice for Aliza campaign to keep her mother’s case in the public eye in an effort to bring the killer or killers to justice, received word of the indictment that afternoon.
“I feel encouraged. Ultimately, I wish it was someone being charged for my mom’s murder, but to me, it sounds like it’s a step in the right direction,” she said. “Hopefully, we’ll continue to move toward our ultimate goal of justice for my mom.”
Jennifer Sherman said she met Moore only once. In March 2012, Aliza Sherman’s divorce attorney, Joseph G. Stafford, had his law license suspended for one year by the Ohio Supreme Court for “six violations of the Rules of Professional Conduct,” according to the decision. Moore subsequently replaced Stafford as Sherman’s attorney, Jennifer Sherman said.
“It was very brief,” she said of her 2012 meeting with Moore, adding that they communicated “once or twice” after that regarding parts of her parents’ divorce that directly involved her. “I didn’t know much about him, I was just hoping he was going to pull through for my mom.”
The seven charges Moore faces related to the Sherman investigation are tampering with evidence, a third-degree felony; telecommunications fraud, a fifth-degree felony; possessing criminal tools, a fifth-degree felony; two counts of forgery, both fifth-degree felonies; falsification, a first-degree misdemeanor; and obstructing official business, a second-degree misdemeanor.
Police investigation revealed that on the day Sherman, a Beachwood nurse, was killed, Moore sent text messages to her cell phone just prior to and after her murder, according to the prosecutor’s office. Those messages indicated that he was in his office, but phone records analysis, electronic keycard records and witness statements show he was not in the building. Moore then made false statements to Cleveland Police homicide detectives when questioned about his whereabouts.
The other nine charges Moore face involve three third-degree felony charges of terroristic threats and six fifth-degree felony charges of inducing panic, all of which are related to bomb threats Moore made from his cell phone in January, May and July of 2012 against courthouses in Geauga, Lake and Cuyahoga counties, according to the prosecutor’s office.
On the day of each of the bomb threats, Moore was scheduled to begin a trial. The day Sherman was murdered was the day before her divorce trial was set to begin. According to a statement from the prosecutor’s office, “evidence will show Moore was unprepared for that trial and that the judge had informed him there would be no more continuances in the case.”
“Ms. Sherman’s family and the community should rest assured that this case has never gone cold and that an aggressive investigation into her murder continues,” said Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy J. McGinty in a news release. “We believe that this indictment and the evidence behind it take us one step closer to bringing her killer to justice. The work of the Cleveland Police and other investigative agencies has been relentless.”
Jennifer Sherman said she and her mother’s other supporters are “thrilled” that there’s been a “positive” development.
“It just strengthens our commitment that no matter how long this takes, we’re going to see it through,” she said. “I think it’s important to demonstrate we continue to have faith. The police and Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office are doing their job and are strongly committed to seeing justice. Hopefully, this is one step closer to holding someone accountable.”
For the CJN’s complete coverage of the Aliza Sherman murder, visit cjn.org/alizasherman.