“I Have Forgiven You for Murdering My Mother. . .”

Amarillo Globe News, Amarillo, Texas – Before a District Judge sentenced a 22-year-old man to life in prison without parole for killing an 84-year-old woman and assaulting her developmentally disabled daughter, the woman’s adult children addressed the court to talk of forgiveness and faith.

Imogene Wilmoth Harris, who died of blunt force trauma on Aug. 14, 2011, was described by her family as a giving woman who taught Bible study and worked with stroke victims to help them regain their speech. The man who killed her, Esequiel Gomez Jr.,  was eventually captured and pled guilty to capital murder in a plea agreement that spared him from Death Row.

Mother-daughterFamily members, who supported the decision to grant Gomez a life sentence instead of lethal injection, spoke at his sentencing last week in a tiny, hushed courtroom.

“The bottom line is this, Mr. Gomez: I have forgiven you,” said Harris’ daughter Shelley Fields. “I have forgiven you for murdering my mother and raping my little sister, but I will never forget what you took from us that night.”

Another daughter, Holly Chester, also told Gomez she forgave him while the victim’s eldest daughter, Peggy Guthrie, said, “God won’t forgive us if we don’t forgive others.”

Read the full story: “Tulia family speaks of forgiveness, punishment during killer’s sentencing.”

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