The lead prosecutor in a murder trial involving testimony about Satan told jurors Tuesday the crime scene was like a “horror film.”
The victim, Geneva Gomez, 33, was found by her boyfriend — bloody, beaten and lying on the floor of her mother’s house, according to testimony Tuesday. A crucifix was on her chest.
“She didn’t look anything like the woman that he loved,” Assistant District Attorney Suzanne Lavenue said during her opening statement in Oklahoma County District Court. “It scared him almost to death.”
The mother, Juanita Martinez Gomez, now 51, told police she forced a crucifix and religious medallion down her daughter’s throat while attempting to ridher of Satan, according to investigators. Juanita Martinez Gomez, of Oklahoma City, is charged with first-degree murder in the Aug. 27, 2016, killing.
Gomez has pleaded not guilty. Defense attorneys had given notice of plans to present an insanity defense at trial, but later chose not to, records show.
During his brief opening statement, defense attorney Nick Southerland told jurors to pay close attention to the actual evidence presented in the case, “not just the accusations.”
After opening statements, the victim’s boyfriend, Francisco Merlos, testified about going to the defendant’s home that day. When he arrived, Juanita Gomez “yanks me inside the house,” he testified.
Once inside, he asked, “Where’s my girl?”
Gomez said her daughter was in the other room, he testified.
“She was lying on the floor with her arms open and you couldn’t recognize her,” he told the jury. “You couldn’t recognize her face at all.”
“Did you observe anything else on her?” Lavenue asked.
“I think there was a crucifix on her chest,” he testified.
“How did you react?” the prosecutor asked.
Merlos said he asked his girlfriend’s mother why she didn’t call for help.
“She kept mumbling about ‘devil and money,’ ” he told the jury.
The boyfriend also testified that Juanita Gomez said her daughter was “possessed.”
He said Juanita Gomez put him in a headlock as he tried to leave the house. After breaking free, he called police, he said.
Juanita Gomez told police her daughter had been speaking in tongues in a demonic voice the night before and that day and had made threats, according to police.
When interviewed by police, Juanita Gomez had swollen hands and several bruises on her arms. She told police the “bruises were from her daughter fighting her attempts to rid Satan from her daughter’s body,” according to a court affidavit.
After being charged, Juanita Gomez’s competency to face trial had been questioned. After evaluation, a forensic psychologist found she is competent and “was grossly feigning memory problems to appear incompetent.”
The trial began Monday and is expected to conclude this week. More witnesses will testify Wednesday.
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