Mother Accused Of Killing Daughter With Crucifix Says She Was ‘Possessed’

An Oklahoma woman accused of killing her daughter allegedly told police she beat her and repeatedly forced a crucifix down her throat because she feared her daughter was possessed by Satan.

Juanita Gomez, 49, of Oklahoma City, has been charged with first-degree murder in the Saturday slaying of her 33-year-old daughter, Geneva Gomez. The elder Gomez ― her hands still badly bruised from the beating she inflicted on her daughter, according to police ― is being held in the Oklahoma County Jail without bond.

According to a copy of the probable cause affidavit obtained by The Huffington Post, officers with the Oklahoma City Police Department were called to Juanita Gomez’s home Saturday afternoon to check on the welfare of her daughter.

“Officers arrived and found [the] victim … lying in the home with a large cross/crucifix upon her chest,” the affidavit reads. “Blood was visible and she had suffered severe trauma around her head and face.”

Geneva Gomez was pronounced dead at the scene.

Questioned by police, Juanita Gomez said she believed her daughter was “possessed by the devil” and was attempting to “rid Satan” from her body, according to court documents.

Juanita Gomez also said she repeatedly punched her daughter and “forced a crucifix and religious medallion down her throat until blood came out of her daughter’s mouth,” the documents continued.

After that, the documents state, Juanita Gomez cleaned her daughter up and positioned her body in the shape of a cross.

Eddie Johnson, a spokesperson for the Oklahoma Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, told HuffPost on Wednesday that Geneva Gomez “died as a result of blunt force trauma to the head and face due to a beating.”

Johnson declined to discuss potential injuries caused by the crucifix and religious medallion.

“I can’t go into detail,” he said. “This is a homicide.”

Mother and daughter in happier times.

Geneva Gomez’s ex-boyfriend, Francisco Merlos, told The Oklahoman he called police to the Gomez residence. According to Merlos, Geneva Gomez had broken up with him last week and he had gone to her mother’s house in an attempt to reconcile with her. It was during that visit, Merlos said, that he found his ex-girlfriend’s body.

“I looked and she was laying on her back with the cross on her chest and you couldn’t even recognize her face,” Merlos told The Oklahoman.

Merlos said Juanita Gomez attempted to place him in a choke-hold before he fled the residence and contacted police.

#JuanitaGomez accused of 1st degree murder in daughter's death – just part of her video arraignment today. @NEWS9

— Adrianna Iwasinski (@AIwasinski) August 29, 2016

During her Monday arraignment, Juanita Gomez did not mention her slain daughter. However, she did decline the judge’s offer to appoint an attorney to represent her ― claiming she already has an attorney ― and complained jail officials were not providing her with toilet paper.

“I had to use that plastic from the food they give me to … wipe my bottom,” Juanita Gomez said in court, according to Oklahoma City’s KWTV.

She has not yet entered a plea in her daughter’s slaying. Court records do not list an attorney for her and it remains unclear when she will make her next court appearance.

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Trump Wimps Out On Demanding Mexico Pay For His Wall

If Donald Trump becomes president, the U.S. will build a border wall and make Mexico pay for it, according to Trump. The GOP presidential nominee says it all the time. “Build a wall and make Mexico pay for it” is the most consistent plank of Trump’s entire platform.

When he got the chance to talk to Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto on Wednesday, though, Trump said they didn’t discuss payment for the structure ― a claim Peña Nieto and his spokesman later disputed.

“Who pays for the wall, we didn’t discuss,” Trump told reporters after the meeting in Mexico City. “We did discuss the wall, we did not discuss payment of the wall. That’ll be for a later date.”

But after the private meeting, a spokesman for the Mexican president contradicted Trump, telling Reuters that the topic did come up.

“What the president said is that Mexico, as he has said on several occasions … will not pay for that wall,” spokesman Eduardo Sanchez said. Peña Nieto himself tweeted later that he began the meeting with Trump by saying Mexico wouldn’t pay for the wall. 

Trump’s campaign sought to downplay the contradiction.

“Today was the first part of the discussion and a relationship builder between Mr. Trump and President Peña Nieto,” the campaign said in a statement. “It was not a negotiation, and that would have been inappropriate. It is unsurprising that they hold two different views on this issue, and we look forward to continuing the conversation.” 

Trump’s meeting with Peña Nieto came after more than a year of the GOP nominee denigrating Mexican people, the Mexican government and Americans of Mexican descent. The session had the potential to be tense ― Peña Nieto has said in the past there is “no way” Mexico will pay for the wall, and many Mexican citizens were outraged that Trump was invited to the country. (Peña Nieto said he has invited Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton to visit Mexico as well.)

Instead, Peña Nieto described the meeting as “open and constructive,” gently highlighting differences with Trump. Appearing far more subdued than normal, Trump professed his love for Mexican-Americans and his “so many friends” who come from Mexico. 

“I happen to have a tremendous feeling for Mexican-Americans,” Trump said. “Not only in terms of friendships, but in terms of the tremendous numbers that I employ in the United States, and they are amazing people, amazing people. I have many friends, so many friends, and so many friends coming to Mexico and in Mexico. I am proud to say how many people I employ.”

Peña Nieto didn’t openly challenge Trump when the American said they didn’t discuss payment for the wall.

Back in the U.S., Democrats reacted to news that the the Mexican leader rejected paying for the wall by declaring that Trump, who brags about his negotiating skills, “got rolled” and lied to cover it up.

“Trump has boasted for months that he is going to get Mexico to pay for his ridiculous wall, but when he came face to face with the Mexican president he got out maneuvered and then tried to cover it up on worldwide TV,” Democratic National Committee spokesman Mark Paustenbach said in a statement. “Simply put, Donald got rolled.”

Trump’s move toward Mexico was a sharp turnaround from someone who launched his campaign with a speech painting Mexican immigrants broadly as “rapists” who are “bringing crime” and “bringing drugs” to the U.S. And it’s likely Trump will turn back around and resume his tough talk later Wednesday, when he outlines his deportation-heavy immigration plans in a speech in Phoenix.

Even Trump’s pledges of strength were mild as he stood next to Peña Nieto.

“A lot of the things I said are very strong, but we have to be strong, we have to say what’s happening,” Trump said. “There is crime, as you know, there is a lot of crime and there’s a lot of problems, but I think together we will solve those problems.”

He said the countries can work together to end unauthorized immigration, create secure borders, update the NAFTA trade deal and block drug cartels. He emphasized the need to keep jobs in the hemisphere, not just in the U.S. even though he often talks on the campaign trail about U.S. companies moving factories to Mexico.

Peña Nieto faced pressure from both the Mexico City legislature and political figures across the spectrum to demand that Trump apologize for his string of insults. Peña Nieto, however, expressed openness to working together, though his remarks also amounted to a subtle rebuke of Trump’s anti-Mexico rhetoric. 

“We can disagree on certain issues,” Peña Nieto said. He emphasized his view that NAFTA ― a frequent punching bag for Trump ― had benefitted both countries. He described the U.S.-Mexico border as “a mutual opportunity.” And he pointed out that illegal immigration from Mexico peaked a decade ago. Today, more Mexican migrants are returning to their country than are moving to the United States.

In a veiled allusion to Trump’s repeated insults, Peña Nieto said the two countries should work together “as true friends, good friends and strategic allies, always on the basis of mutual respect.”

Peña Nieto brought up respect again when discussing Mexican people who live in the U.S., who have been frequent targets of Trump’s anti-immigration rhetoric.

“Mexican nationals in the United States are honest people, working people,” Peña Nieto said. “They are people of goodwill that respect family, they respect life in the community, and they are respective of the law. As such, Mexicans deserve everybody’s respect.”

Trump appeared to get the message. Though he announced no major policy shifts, he didn’t repeat his description of Mexico as “not our friend,” and said he had “tremendous respect” for Peña Nieto. 

“A strong, prosperous and vibrant Mexico is in the best interests of the United States,” Trump said. Turning to Peña Nieto, he added: “I call you a friend.” 

This article has been updated to include comments from Peña Nieto and his spokesman that the Mexican president told Trump his country wouldn’t pay for a wall. 

Editor’s note: Donald Trump regularly incites political violence and is a serial liar, rampant xenophobe, racist, misogynist and birther who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims — 1.6 billion members of an entire religion — from entering the U.S.

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Mixed feelings among farmworkers as California nears passage of overtime bill

If signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown, a new overtime bill would put California at the forefront nationally of farm labor pay and mark a victory in the fight to improve farmworkers rights in the decades old movement launched by Cesar Chavez, the legendary co-founder of the National Farm Workers Association who fought for higher farm worker pay.