Mother of teen charged in prom date's death indicted


HOUSTON – The mother of the teenager charged in his prom date's death was indicted Thursday. 

Melissa Ann Martinez, 40, faces charges in the investigation of the death of 17-year-old Jacqueline Gomez. She was found dead in a hotel room at the Hyatt Regency, North, on May 17, 2014.

No one answered at Martinez's home in northwest Houston on Friday. Martinez is charged with two counts of manufacturing/delivery of a controlled substance and one count of purchasing or furnishing alcohol to a minor.

Her son, 18-year-old Eddie Herrera, is charged with aggravated assault. He is  accused in the strangulation death of Gomez.

"At autopsy it was discovered that (Gomez) 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, "(Investigators) 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."

Police were still trying to find out how and why Gomez was killed.

Martinez is expected to appear in court next week.