An Oklahoma City mother who confessed to shoving a crucifix down her daughter’s throat in an attempt to purge her of evil spirits was sentenced to life in prison on Monday.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, a jury found Juanita Martinez Gomez guilty of first-degree murder last month for the August 2016 death of her 33-year-old daughter, Geneva Gomez.
According to court documents obtained by News OK, Gomez told police that her daughter had been speaking in tongues and saying threatening things in a demonic voice, and that she punched her and shoved religious items down her throat because she believed Geneva was possessed by the devil.
The victim’s body was reportedly covered in bruises, with puncture wounds to her throat, and her hair had been pulled out. According to an affidavit obtained by the news outlet, Gomez told police that the “bruises were from her daughter fighting her attempts to rid Satan from her daughter’s body.”
Geneva’s boyfriend Francisco Merlos reportedly first discovered her when he arrived to the home to find her bloodied body spread out like a crucifix. According to the Daily Mail, he testified in court that he asked Juanita Gomez why she didn’t get medical help for her daughter. Juanita reportedly told Merlos that Geneva was “possessed,” and “kept mumbling about ‘devil and money.'”
The prosecution reportedly accused Gomez of feigning mental illness in order to appear incompetent, and that she may have staged the violent exorcism to cover up her daughter’s murder. According to News OK, Gomez’s defense team abandoned earlier plans to plead insanity, and instead argued that the prosecution had not proven Gomez intended to kill her daughter.
The jury disagreed.
Gomez was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
[Feature image: Associated Press/Juanita Gomez]