An attorney who pleaded guilty to spiking his wife’s drink with an abortion-inducing drug has learned his fate. Did the sentence fit the crime? You decide.
Mason Herring, a 39-year-old lawyer in Houston, pleaded guilty to assault of a pregnant woman and injury to a child after he was accused of slipping his wife abortion-inducing drugs. However, the sentence given after the Houston attorney took a plea deal wasn’t enough, according to his wife, Catherine Herring, who has since filed for divorce. But first, the back story.
Mason, the founder and managing partner of the Herring Law Firm, apparently wasn’t excited to be a father again when he learned of his wife’s third pregnancy since the couple had already separated. Even though the Herrings were reportedly attending marriage counseling to try to repair their relationship when Catherine revealed she was pregnant with their third child, the news was still met with dismay from Mason.
The third-time father-to-be didn’t take the news well, telling Catherine that the pregnancy “would ruin his plans and make him look like a jerk,” according to an affidavit, the NY Post reported. You see, Mason had already become romantically involved with a co-worker, and the fact that he was still intimately involved with his wife likely wouldn’t be well received by his mistress, as the story usually goes.
Oddly enough, as Catherine continued with the pregnancy, Mason seemingly became concerned about her well-being, telling her about the importance of staying hydrated, she explained to authorities. Mason began offering Catherine water, but it was cloudy. However, Mason explained it away, saying that it must be because the cup or water pipes were dirty. Sadly, it was something much more sinister.
After consuming the murky water, Catherine became very ill, experiencing severe bleeding and cramps. She went to the hospital, but doctors couldn’t figure out what was wrong with the expectant mother. That’s when Catherine, having become suspicious of her husband, stopped drinking the beverages he offered her, the Associated Press reported. Mason continued to try, but Catherine refused the drinks he offered, including three that had “an unknown substance” and a bottle of orange juice with a broken seal.
Then, Catherine made a disturbing discovery in the trash. In the garbage, Catherine found discarded packaging for a drug containing misoprostol, a synthetic prostaglandin medication used to prevent and treat stomach and duodenal ulcers. It’s also used to induce labor, cause an abortion, and treat postpartum bleeding since it makes the uterus contract and ripens the cervix.
Troubled, Catherine installed hidden cameras in her home, where her husband was no longer living. When the cameras captured footage of Mason appearing to mix a substance into one of Catherine’s drinks, she took the clip to the authorities. With video evidence against him, Mason was originally charged with felony assault to induce abortion. However, he took a plea deal.
After pleading guilty to injury to a child and assault of a pregnant person, Mason Herring was sentenced to 180 days in jail and 10 years of probation, which Catherine believes was a paltry punishment. For those doing the math, that’s only 6 months behind bars—less time than the pregnancy he tried so hard to end. Making matters worse, although the child Mason had tried to abort had lived, the little girl, who was one year old when her father was sentenced, spent more than 180 days intubated in the hospital after she was born prematurely.
In addition, the innocent child, who was born about 10 weeks early and experienced developmental issues, reportedly attends therapy eight times a week as a result of her father’s actions, prompting Catherine to decry Mason Herring’s sentence, which she says simply wasn’t enough for what he did. “I do not believe that 180 days is justice for attempting to kill your child seven separate times,” Catherine declared. Of course, Mason’s attorney felt differently, alleging that the plea deal was a reasonable solution. Is it, though?
“It’s a sad situation and Mason has accepted his responsibility,” Dan Codgell, Mason’s attorney, said. After his time is served and probation ends, Mason Herring will be free to return to his life, while his child will live the rest of her life knowing that her daddy tried to kill her. If that’s not a wound worthy of severe punishment, I don’t know what is. The fact that it was inflicted by a parent only makes it all the more devastating. Instead, it’s a crime worthy of only 6 months behind bars, according to our justice system. But what do we expect in a society where the unborn can be viewed as a disposable problem if the mom decides the pregnancy isn’t wanted or ideal?