A 38-year-old Texas attorney is facing felony charges for allegedly attempting to sneak abortion-inducing drugs into his wife’s beverages for weeks after learning about her pregnancy. A Harris County grand jury returned a true bill indicting Mason Herring on one count each of assault of a pregnant person and assault – forced induction to have an abortion, court documents obtained by Law&Crime show.
According to a probable cause affidavit, Herring’s wife, Catherine Herring, on April 27 filed a criminal complaint against her husband accusing him of trying to poison her by slipping abortion-inducing drugs into her drinking water.
Herring and his wife had been separated for approximately two weeks and were in couples counseling on March 8 when she told him that she was pregnant with their third child. Herring, who was allegedly romantically involved with a female subordinate from work since separating from Catherine, had a “negative reaction” to the news and later told his wife that the pregnancy “would ruin his plans and make him look like a jerk,” the document states.
At the counselor’s suggestion, the couple spent spring break together with their kids in West Texas. That week, Herring “began talking to her about her hydration, stating that she needed to drink more water,” Catherine told investigators.
Herring on the morning of March 17 allegedly made breakfast for Catherine and brought it to her along with a “full cup of water.”
“[Catherine] stated that [Herring] presented the cup of water and told her that she needed to drink more and that he would not leave until she drank the whole cup,” the affidavit states. “[Catherine] stated that she drank out of the cup and stopped to take a breath, noticing that the water inside the cup appeared to be cloudy. [Catherine] stated that she questioned [Herring] about this and he stated that perhaps the cup was dirty or the pipes were dirty. [Catherine] stated that [Herring] then took the cup and left.”
Catherine told investigators that approximately 30 minutes later she became violently ill with diarrhea, even soiling herself before she could make it to the bathroom.
“She stated that she then began to suspect that something had been placed in her drink and that perhaps it was some kind of abortion drug due to her symptoms and [Herring’s] reaction to finding out that she was pregnant,” the affidavit states. “[Catherine] stated that she had two more bouts of diarrhea and on the final time, she discovered that she was bleeding. [Catherine] stated that it was a large amount of blood, much like having her period.”
The bleeding continued and Catherine went to the emergency room where doctors took a urine sample. The following day, Herring allegedly gave her “another beverage in an orange sports bottle,” but instead of drinking it, she saved the liquid. Catherine said Herring attempted to give her beverages containing “an unknown substance” on March 21, March 22, April 20, and April 21. The beverages including a bottle of orange juice with a broken seal and a fountain drink from Sonic that Catherine said had a substance floating in it.
Herring on April 24 was allegedly caught on video cleaning out his truck in front of Catherine’s home and taking the trash to the curb.
“[Catherine] stated that this was out of character for [Herring] as he does not do chores around the house. [Catherine] stated that when [Herring] left the residence, she went to the trash can to see what was inside,” the affidavit states. “[Catherine] stated that she then found opened blister packs labeled as ‘Cyrux,’ which she discovered was a Mexican pharmacy version of the American drug Cytotec and the main ingredient of which is Misoprostol, a drug that [Catherine] knows is used to cause abortion.”
Herring was also caught on a video from Catherine’s kitchen preparing a drink then “taking a Ziplock bag out of his pocket and emptying the contents into the drink” before giving it to Catherine, documents said.
An OB-GYN allegedly told investigators that Misoprostol could be used to terminate a pregnancy, but can also cause heart, liver, and renal necrosis, saying that “giving someone the drug in an unknown amount is an assault.”
[Image via Harris County Sheriff’s Office]
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