A Liberty County jury found Julie Ann Herrera, 42, guilty of the offense of Possession of a Controlled Substance and sentenced her to 15 years in prison on July 27, 2021. Due to her criminal history, Herrera faced a potential punishment of 15 years to life in prison.
During trial, Assistant District Attorney Nicole Washington presented evidence that the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office was dispatched to CR443 regarding a stolen gooseneck trailer and RV. While searching the area, Sergeant Paul Young encountered Rodney Steward, who claimed the RV in question was bequeathed to him by his mother.
Sgt. Young located Julie Herrera sleeping inside a bedroom in the RV, where he also found five bags of methamphetamine, multiple glass pipes that contained suspected methamphetamine, a digital scale, syringes, and empty baggies used for packaging methamphetamine. Both Herrera and Steward were arrested and charged with Possession of a Controlled Substance with Intent to Deliver.
Herrera’s attorney Michael McNeely attempted to convince the jury that Steward’s guilty plea to the drug offense as well as the fact that she was living elsewhere at the time of her arrest proved her innocence. The jury was unconvinced and returned a guilty verdict within an hour of beginning deliberations.
In the sentencing phase of trial, the jury heard evidence that Herrera had been convicted in 2018 of Possession of Controlled Substance (Methamphetamine) and in 2005 of Burglary of a Habitation.
After trial, the jury praised both the District Attorney’s Office and Sheriff’s Office for excellence in service to the community and expressed gratitude to Assistant District Attorney Nicole Washington, thankful that she was working to represent the people of Liberty County.
“This case would not have come together without the assistance of Paul Young and District Attorney First Assistant Steve Taylor. My last trial was almost two years ago, and I was out of practice and admittedly nervous. Both Paul and Steve allowed me to harass them relentlessly to ensure my comfort. Also, special thanks to the District Attorney investigators, who assisted with my technical needs. You fellas are the absolute best!” said Washington.
District Attorney Jennifer Bergman added that drug use is responsible for serious crimes throughout our communities.
“This case highlights our law enforcement’s proactive approach to helping to take dealers and users off our streets and to protect the citizens of Liberty County. Further, we would like to express our gratitude to the jurors, who collective heard and weighed the evidence in this case against the defendant, and handed down a sentence they felt was just and deserved,” Bergman said.