Texas Man Sentenced and His Mother Awaits Trial For The Killing Prom Date

33D7D3D200000578-0-image-a-11_1462392168000There is a truly horrific case out of Texas where a mom allegedly supplied booze and pills to her son so that he could sleep with his date to a Aldine MacArthur High School prom held at the Hyatt Regency in North Houston. Eddie Herrera, 18, ended up killing Jacqueline “Jackie” Gomez, 17, in what he claims was consensual rough sex. His mother, Michelle Martinez, 40, is not only accused of lying to Gomez’s mother about her whereabouts but helped clean the room before reporting the death. Herrera was just found guilty of choking Gomez to death. He received 25 years for aggravated assault. However, it is the role of Martinez that I find most shocking.

33D7B76500000578-0-image-a-20_146239221623933D7B77D00000578-0-image-m-19_1462392209775Martinez bought booze, supplied the painkillers, and reserved the hotel room for her son. She also told Gomez’s mother that the couple would be coming straight home after the prom. The couple clearly planned to skip the prom and spend the night in the hotel room. They had dinner with other couples and then went up to the room and Martinez rented for them.

The Gomez finally sued Martinez and Gomez’s mother, Juana “Annie” Barron said that Martinez “agreed to chaperone Jacqueline and they agreed to bring Jacqueline home as soon as the prom ended.” Instead, she bought the couple two handles of Crown Royal Canadian whiskey and gave he son 10 hydrocodone pills and five pills to Gomez. When Martinez did not drop off Gomez as promised, Barron called Martinez and said that Martinez lied told her “she was taking Jacqueline and Herrera for dinner.”

33D7B77500000578-0-image-m-24_1462392289758Herrera covered up the crime for months. When Gomez died after being choked during sex, Herrera called his mother rather than paramedics. For two hours, the mother and son cleaned up the room to get rid of the drugs and booze — never calling an ambulance. Two hours later, they asked a Hyatt staffer to call for help. Martinez is also accused of putting Gomez’s dress back on.

Martinez is awaiting trial.

What do you think she would receive if found guilty.

21 thoughts on “Texas Man Sentenced and His Mother Awaits Trial For The Killing Prom Date”

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  2. For some reason, talking about crimes and matching them with numbers of years per sentence sounds wrong to me. It makes them sound like “business as usual”. This crime is 5, that one is 13 years etc…
    I think this family is not normal. It is quite sick, in a clinical sense.
    And most of the media that deal with these stories start by expressing their indignation of course etc…, but then go right back to talking about the sentencing, and how the accused is a bad person and so on, making the story thus, have a feel of normalcy.
    Stories like these are abnormal, they speak of how sick we have become as a society.
    A crime for money is a “normal” crime. A crime of passion is “normal”…
    There needs to be shows on major channels, that are “smart” that bring calm academics to discuss such issues, not psychologists like Dr. Phil. Say an academic that looks posed and reasonable, the kind that one suspects of speaking many languages, including greek and latin…..
    oh well! I drift……..

  3. Steve,

    The advantage Controlled Substance Homicide has over involuntary manslaughter is that the state is not required to establish that the actor directly engaged in conduct that is sufficient to prove a criminal homicide in the ordinary sense. The elements of CSH only require unlawful delivery of the controlled substance and that death was proximately caused by ingestion of the controlled substance. The state is not required to show any other elements or have the trier of the case determine if other actions were reckless or negligent in addition to the death or delivery.

    I think in this case the state will face a more difficult prosecution for Manslaughter against the mother in a direct sense, that is, relying solely on evidence of providing the hydrocodone and alcohol. I agree there is certainly probable cause to levy these charges. I think the state would have an easier case in charging her as an accessory after the fact where they then can introduce the choking element as strong evidence but I would expect sentencing to be perhaps lighter than if they went for a straight manslaughter prosecution based upon the sole act of furnishing the substances without the choking.

    I am not obviously as familiar with Texas criminal procedure but I question where does the mother’s culpability end in this case. Does it end at the point in which she participated? (providing the substances and the venue) or does it include the choking as it would in a felony murder sense?

    If it is the latter then I certainly imagine this will make prosecution easier since the choking clearly was an aggravator in the victim’s death. But without the choking, the state is going to have a more difficult time. Certainly though it is not facing an impossible task. But if the state goes the accessory after the fact route then all the evidence and acts are included.

    1. Darren, thanks for your explanation. I hadn’t ever heard of CSH, frankly. It sounds a whole lot like involuntary manslaughter by delivery of alcohol and opiates from a parent to an 18-year old who isn’t allowed legally to drink or use her prescriptions. The same goes for the 17-year old. They’re both controlled substances. So long as the cause of death was poisoning or asphyxiation from their ingestion, that’s reckless homicide it seems to me. It’s certainly foreseeable, especially in those quantities

      I don’t have an argument, however, that if choking her was the cause of death there’s a foreseeable nexus between choking her in the hotel room and delivery of controlled substances, unless of course there was some prior conduct associated with rough sex from her son.

      I’d have to agree with Spinelli. 12 years.

  4. In the short amount of time I read various sources to this story, I wasn’t able to locate the information for which Mrs. Martinez was charged. I presume it might be inchoate to what he son was–perhaps under Texas’ accessory after the fact procedures. As such I cannot state what I consider an appropriate sentence to be if found guilty.

    Cases such as this bring up the utility of states having Controlled Substance Homicide statutes. The essence of these are that if a person unlawfully delivers or injects a scheduled controlled substance into another, resulting in death, than the person is guilty of criminal homicide. In this case Mrs. Martinez is alleged to have supplied hydrocodone unlawfully.

    I compared our state’s controlled substance homicide statutes with this case. Interestingly, if our state’s jurisdiction had applied the charge would have not been applicable since at the time of the death, hydrocodone was listed under schedule III which would have made it inapplicable to the homicide statute but the DEA later that year rescheduled it to schedule II which makes it apply.

    In this case I suspect a defense could be made that the victim died from the choking or the drug in combination with alcohol. But in that Mrs. Martinez supplied both substances with the intent that both be used in combination, that defense might be rendered less effective.

    1. Darren, you think involuntary manslaughter (negligent or reckless homicide) is too tenuous after “she bought the couple two handles of Crown Royal Canadian whiskey and gave he[r] son 10 hydrocodone pills and [gave] five pills to Gomez”? And then she mislead the girls parents as to her whereabouts?

      That’s a big-time conscious disregard for a substantial and unjustifiable risk (recklessness) not rising to the level of malice with the very real potential that it was the proximate cause of the girl’s death.

  5. Despicable boy and despicable mother. Sick. Sad.
    The authorities better deliver heavy punishment.
    Vendetta may be unavoidable even so

  6. In addition to the Vicodin, the mother provided the couple with “two handles of Crown Royal Canadian Whiskey…” Two HANDLES of Royal Crown?!?!? Holy carp! That is a LOT of booze for two people!

    Obviously, what this kid and his mom did after is beyond excuse. But I do wonder what sort of night the victim thought she was in store for when she and her boyfriend entered the room with a pile of pills and enough booze to kill either one of them.

    1. freedomfan – the average shot is 1 1/2 oz. so there are at least 20 shots in each handle. So, they have 40 shots, plus 30 pills. I am surprised they are not both dead.

  7. “Agua deOro
    It’s good to see Ayn Rand’s philosophy crossing…

    Libertinism ≠ Libertariansim

    Libertarian ≠ Republican

    The chance that Melissa Ann Martinez is a Republican = 0.

  8. Mom was an accomplice to the death and should be charged the same as her son, as well, as appropriate charges of supplying the drugs and alcohol, obstruction of justice in covering up the crime. She should get at least as much time as her son.

  9. Agua deOro… how foolish! The Libertarian view is to not interfere with pursuit of happiness UNLESS it infringes on the rights of someone else. Absolutely the case here. You get your nice little sound bite with a dig at Rand and Republicans as well as a treat for being a good poodle.

  10. It’s good to see Ayn Rand’s philosophy crossing the cultural divide. Herrera was merely pursuing his gratification the Rand professed we all should. The mother? She just wants her son to be happy. What could be more Republican?

    1. Agua deOro – there is a slim chance she is a Republican. But it is good to see Hillary’s trolls are online today picking up some cash.

  11. Martinez – involuntary manslaughter; obstruction of justice, among other things like supplying narcotics and child endangerment.

  12. Something to compare: Robert Chambers the “Preppie Killer” of Jennifer Levin in NYC.

    The media had labeled the crime “The Preppie Murder”. Some of the New York media sources had reported the more lurid aspects of the case; for example, headlines read: “How Jennifer Courted Death” and “Sex Play Got Rough”. Levin’s reputation was attacked, while Chambers was portrayed as a Kennedy-esque “preppie altar boy” with a “promising future”.

    Confronted with this explanation, Assistant District Attorney Steve Saracco said: “I’ve been in this business for a while, and you’re the first man I’ve seen raped in Central Park”. The rape scenario was considered to be highly unlikely in light of the fact that Chambers was more than a foot taller than the 5’4″ Levin, and at 220 lb (100 kg), he was almost double her weight.

    Chambers was charged with, and tried for, two counts of second-degree murder. His defense was that Levin’s death had occurred during “rough sex”. He was defended by Jack T. Litman, who had previously used the temporary insanity defense on behalf of Richard Herrin for the murder of Yale University student Bonnie Garland. Prosecutor Linda Fairstein stated: “In more than 8,000 cases of reported assaults in the last 10 years, this is the first in which a male reported being sexually assaulted by a female.”The case popularized the strategy later colloquially termed the “rough sex defense”.

  13. Something went wrong with the melting pot.

    Maybe if we just open the borders entirely, this sort of thing will become less common.

    Regardless, nothing says “Prom” like Crown Royal and hydrocodone.

  14. I doubt that the mother intended the girl’s death, but supplying teens with a lethal combination like whiskey and hydrocodone would almost guarantee that someone would die or go into a permanent coma. At a minimum, she should be charged with negligent homocide, supplying a controlled substance, contributing to the delinquency of a minor and anything else that they can come up with. Did she fail to recycle the whiskey bottles? Charge her with that too.

  15. This is really enabling your child. As far as I am concerned they cannot find enough charges to charge her with and sentences should run consecutively. Supplying a controlled substance, supplying minors with alcohol, conspiracy to avoid prosecution, parking in a disabled parking zone, etc.

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