Eddie Herrera was convicted of aggravated assault. Authorities say the couple went to the MacArthur High School prom, then went to the Houston hotel room, where they mixed alcohol with prescription painkillers before Herrera choked Gomez during sex.
The next morning, Gomez was found dead in the hotel room.
Herrera told police that she asked him to squeeze her neck, but prosecutors believe he choked her instead.
According to the Houston Chronicle, Herrera told police he and his mother, Melissa Martinez, worked together to get the hotel room, two bottles of whiskey and 20 pills of hydrocodone.
“The facts in this case are horribly tragic,” prosecutor Justin Wood said, according to the Chronicle. “You cannot imagine a more horrific set of circumstances.”
Even though Herrera was convicted of a first-degree felony, he was not charged with murder, the Houston Chronicle reported. However, Herrera’s defense lawyer tried to say Gomez died of an overdose.
According to the Chronicle, prosecutors recommended Herrera get 40 years, while Herrera’s defense lawyer asked for them to consider probation instead.
According to the medical examiner’s office, they ruled the cause of death “undetermined.”
“Eddie Herrera had absolutely no motive and no reason. He did not choke her to death,” defense attorney Doug O’Brien said during closing arguments, according to the Chronicle. “He could have just as easily died in that hotel room.”
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