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Boyfriend charged in connection with death of teen after prom last year

Police say he admitted to choking her

HOUSTON – Eddie Herrera, 18, appeared in criminal court Friday for his preliminary hearing.

He faces aggravated assault charges in the death of his girlfriend, 17 year old Jacqueline Gomez. She was found dead in a hotel room at the Hyatt Regency, North, on May 17, 2014.

"At autopsy it was discovered that she had substantial injuries to her neck that was consistent with strangulation," said Harris County Assistant District Attorney Bill Exley. "Ultimately Mr. Herrera was interviewed and admitted that he had strangled Miss Gomez. Choked with his hands and that when he fell asleep, she was on the bed next to him and when he woke up he found her deceased."

Exley said Herrera and his mother convinced Gomez's mother that Jacqueline was coming home after they attended prom. Instead, investigators said she and Herrera stayed in the same hotel in which they attended prom. Houston Police said Herrera's mother bought them liquor and gave them hydrocodone.

Exley said, "They have not been able to rule out whether she ultimately died as an overdose or whether she died as a result of strangulation."

The prosecutor said that Herrera first said he strangled Gomez as part of a consensual sex act, but later said he did it on his own. Investigators said Herrera's mother came to the hotel room after her son said he found Gomez dead.

Exley added, "She told police that she found Miss Gomez nude and that she dressed her body and then she called the hotel staff to try and find out if they had medical people at the hotel."

No one answered at Herrera's home in north Houston Friday afternoon. His bond is set at $50,000. If released, he would have to stay home and wear an ankle bracelet.

A conviction in this case could mean up to life in prison.

Aldine ISD released a statement Thursday which read in part, "The district hopes this arrest brings some closure to Jacqueline's family and loved ones who, along with Aldine ISD, mourn her passing."