A mother has been accused of killing her 33-year-old daughter by brutally beating her and shoving a crucifix and a religious medallion down her throat because she believed the victim was possessed by Satan, according to a report by Dailymail.
The incident happened in Oklahoma area of the United States.
In her opening statement on Tuesday during the woman’s trial, Assistant District Attorney Suzanne Lavenue likened the crime scene inside Juanita Gomez’s home on North McKinley in Oklahoma City to a ‘horror film’.
The defendant, now aged 51, is being tried for first-degree murder in the August 27, 2016, slaying of her daughter, Geneva Gomez.
The lead prosecutor recounted for the jurors how the victim was found by her boyfriend on the floor of her mother’s home badly bruised and bloodied, with a crucifix resting on her chest.
The boyfriend, Francisco Merlos, later testified how he could not recognize Geneva’s face when he came by her mother’s house looking for her, only to find her sprawled out on the floor with her arms in the shape of a cross, reported NewsOK.
Merlos said when he asked Juanita Gomez why she did not seek medical help for Geneva, the woman ‘kept mumbling about “devil and money,”‘ and told him Geneva was ‘possessed,’ he told the court.
When Merlos tried to leave, he said Juanita put him in a headlock, but he was able to free himself from her grasp and call police.
Following her arrest, Juanita told police that her daughter had been speaking in tongues in a demonic voice the night before her death, that her eyes rolled back in her head and that she had threatened to kill her mother.
She also reported hearing a demonic voice coming from her television while trying to watch a Christian channel.
Gomez also said that the bruises on her arms and hands were from her daughter resisting her attempts to exorcise Satan from her body.
During a preliminary hearing last July, a police officer who responded to Juanita Gomez’s home testified that the woman told him she tried to clear her daughter after the killing because she did not want ‘evil blood’ in the house.
The mother has pleaded not guilty to the murder count against her. Initially, her defense team had signaled their intent to present an insanity defense at trial, but later scrapped that plan.
A court-appointed forensic psychologist who examined Gomez found her competent to stand trial and concluded that she was feigning mental illness so she would be deemed incompetent.
In his opening statement, Gomez’s attorney Nick Southerland urged the jury to pay attention to the actual evidence in the case, ‘not just the accusations’.
Day two of the trial concluded with the prosecution displaying for the jurors a crime scene photo of Geneva Gomez, lying beaten on the floor with a large crucifix on her chest, according to News9.
Juanita Gomez reportedly broke down in tears at the sight of her deceased daughter.