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Crime News

Mom Who Killed Daughter By Shoving Crucifix Down Her Throat Sentenced To Life In Prison

Prosecutors say Juanita Martinez Gomez faked a religious ritual to seem insane.

By Eric Shorey

Juanita Martinez Gomez was found guilty of first-degree murder last month after a violent exorcism resulted in the death of her daughter in August of 2016. Now, Gomez has been sentenced to life in prison with no possibility of parole.

According to NewsOK, Gomez plans on appealing the decision made by District Judge Ray Elliott. She did not offer a statement on the proceedings and spoke quietly in court.

Investigators say that Gomez had admitted to physically abusing her daughter because she was believed to have been possessed by the devil. In a ritualistic attempt to rid her of evil spirits, Gomez shoved a crucifix and a religious medallion down her throat. She ultimately died from blunt force trauma to the head and face, according to a state medical examiner.

The bloody body of Geneva Gomez was discovered by her ex-boyfriend, who noted that her arms had been stretched out to resemble Jesus on the cross. A crucifix and rosary was later found lodged in her throat, the medallion was found in her mouth.

“I was like ‘where's my girl,' and she said ‘she's in the room.' Usually, my girl is real happy. She'd say 'I'll be right out, baby,' or something like that. But, it was just the TV going on, there was no sound or anything,” the ex-boyfriend, Francisco Merlos, had said during the trial.

Prosecutors suspected the religious adornments around the murder were staged in order to convince people that she was insane and therefore not guilty. Her ability to understand a trial's proceedings became a question, but a forensic psychologist determined her to be competent and claimed that she had been faking memory loss to appear mentally ill. Defense attorneys considered an insanity plea but decided against it, later arguing that Juanita had never intended to kill Geneva, and was thus not guilty of first-degree murder.

Juanita had several bruises on her body when she was found by police. She claimed the "bruises were from her daughter fighting her attempts to rid Satan from her daughter's body."

Juanita went on to say that her daughter had been speaking in tongues through a demonic voice and had made threats against her. She had attempted to clean the house before police arrived, saying she did not want "evil blood" in her abode.

[Photo: Oklahoma City Police]