An Oklahoma mother, who killed her daughter thinking she was possessed, was handed a life sentence without parole on Monday, 12 February.
Juanita Gomez had killed her daughter by forcing a crucifix down her throat to get rid of "Satan". The 51-year-old had first punched the 33-year-old victim, Geneva, and then forced a crucifix and a religious medallion down her throat until blood came out of her mouth.
Juanita was sentenced a month after she was found guilty by jurors in the August 2016 murder. She had pleaded not guilty to the murder. Her attorneys are planning to appeal the ruling, The Daily Mail has reported.
The 33-year-old victim was found lying on the floor covered in blood by her boyfriend, Francisco Merlos, who called police to the crime scene. During a trial, he told court that when he asked Juanita why she did not call anyone to help Geneva, she "kept mumbling about 'devil and money'," and said that her daughter was "possessed".
The accused also claimed that Geneva threatened to kill her the night before her death and had started speaking in a demonic voice. Police found bruises on Juanita's arms and hands, which she claimed to get while trying to "rid Satan from her daughter's body".
Earlier, the defence attorneys had tried to prove her mentally incompetent to stand for a trial, but the claim was scrapped after a court-appointed forensic psychologist found her well.
Prosecutors even said that Juanita had made up the possession story to defend her. "I think she thought that maybe just the thought of an exorcism occurring, that would make someone think maybe she had a mental illness or something," Suzanne Lavenue, Oklahoma County Assistant District Attorney, said during a trial.