An Oklahoma woman was found guilty of beating her daughter and shoving a crucifix and medallion down her throat, ultimately leading to her death. She was convicted of first-degree murder Thursday after going through a trial.
The suspect identified as Juanita Martinez Gomez, 51, was convicted of killing her daughter, Geneva Gomez, 33.
According to a report in the Oklahoman, the jurors sought a life sentence without the possibility of parole for Gomez. Reports also state that as soon as the verdict was out, Gomez did not even show a little glimmer of emotion.
The assistant district attorney, Suzanne Lavenue said about the verdict, "We think it was a just verdict. It was an incredibly heinous murder. The victim suffered quite a bit before her life was ended. The crime scene was horrific. It was obvious that there'd been an extensive struggle all over the house," Fox News reported.
"She hit her daughter over and over and over. Geneva Gomez was fighting for her life," Lavenue told the jury. According to a report in the Oklahoman, Lavenue said that Gomez was the one who staged the exorcism so that authorities would think she had a mental illness or was insane.
According to Fox News, Gomez was the one who confirmed to fatally punching her daughter multiple times and shoving a crucifix and medallion down her throat because she was possessed by the devil.
Reports state that the authorities believe that Gomez killed her daughter on Aug. 27, 2016. The victim's body was first discovered by her boyfriend Francisco Merlos who then informed the police.
When police officials arrived at the scene of the crime, they found Geneva lying on the ground with her arms spread out as if she had been crucified. A large crucifix was also recovered from the scene. The autopsy report given by the medical examiner’s office ruled that Geneva died of “blunt force trauma to the face and head”. She also had puncture wounds to her throat and her hair had also been pulled out.
During the trial of the case, Merlos said that Geneva’s face was unrecognizable after what Gomez had done to her. “You couldn’t recognize her face at all,” Merlos said, Fox News reported.
Although initially there were doubts about Gomez’s competency to face trial, however, a forensic psychologist’s report found that she was competent and "was grossly feigning memory problems to appear incompetent."
Throughout the trial, Gomez pleaded not guilty and her attorney Nick Southerland contended that Gomez should not be found guilty of first-degree murder as prosecutors had failed to prove that she had killed her daughter deliberately. But Lavenue argued against the argument saying: "Look at the damage done to Geneva Gomez. Does this not indicate Juanita Gomez had the intent to kill Geneva Gomez?"
Speaking of the incident, Gomez told authorities that her daughter had been speaking in a demonic voice. She also said that when she had turned on the television to a Christian channel, it appeared to change on its own. According to Gomez, she also heard demonic voices coming out of the television.
The trial for Gomez’s case had begun Monday, Jan. 8.