Mother of man convicted in prom night murder accepts 21-month plea deal

HOUSTON – The mother of a man sentenced to 25 years for killing his girlfriend on prom night appeared in court Tuesday morning for her role in the crime.

Melissa Martinez, accepted a 21-month plea deal for giving the teens drugs and alcohol on the night her son Eddie Herrera strangled his then-girlfriend, Jacqueline Gomez.

Martinez was convicted of providing oxycodone and alcohol to the teens on prom night. She took a plea deal on two counts of delivery of a controlled substance.

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"I don't know if there are any victories here. I think this is just another chapter that they can put behind them," Harris County Assistant District Attorney Justin Wood said.

Gomez's mother, Annie Barron, took the witness stand during the sentencing to read a victim's impact statement.

"You are not even sorry for what you did, all the lies from the beginning," Barron said. "And my daughter's face you deserve to see every day for what you did to her."

Martinez placed a 911 call after Herrera called her, officials said. In the call, Martinez claimed that Gomez had been found unresponsive. She also told the dispatcher that she made several attempts to resuscitate her daughter. The audio concludes with paramedics arriving. The 911 recording was played during Herrera's trial last week. 

A jury returned a guilty verdict Wednesday morning in Herrera's case. His trial started last Monday, and the jury began deliberations last Tuesday afternoon. He was sentenced to 25 years in prison.

Herrera, now 20, was convicted of aggravated assault in the death of his then-girlfriend in May 2014 at a Hyatt Hotel on North Sam Houston Tollway. Authorities said he had been drinking and taking drugs on the night Gomez was killed.

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The first witness to take the stand at his trial was a paramedic who testified that Gomez was dead when he arrived. When asked whether her death appeared natural, the paramedic said he "was not able to make a decision at this time whether this was a natural death."

Herrera admitted to choking Gomez with his hands, but said she was still alive, authorities said.

According to prosecutors, Herrera said he fell asleep and Gomez was on the bed next to him. When he woke up, he said he found her dead and called his mother, who was staying at the same hotel.

Herrera's defense claims the night was just a terrible accident.

Martinez's attorney agreed, saying after the sentencing that his client accepted responsibility for her actions.

"We resolved the case and now we're looking forward to trying to deal with the whole situation in the coming years," David Micham said.