In a sudden turn of events, Starr County District Attorney Gocha Ramirez announced via a news release Sunday that his office is dismissing the indictment against Lizelle Herrera, who was arrested Thursday and charged with murder on accusations of a “self-induced abortion.”
“In reviewing applicable Texas law, it is clear that Ms. Herrera cannot and should not be prosecuted for the allegation against her,” the release read.
He went on to say that the Starr County Sheriff’s Office “did their duty in investigating the incident brought to their attention by the reporting hospital.”
Herrera, 26, was placed in custody and faced a $500,000 bond until Saturday evening when it was announced that a bondsman had paid the surety bond.
Little else is known about what exactly led to Herrera’s arrest. In the indictment obtained by The Monitor, Herrera is accused of “intentionally and knowingly causing [sic] the death of an individual J.A.H., by a self-induced abortion,” on Jan. 7.
Her arrest caused outrage throughout the Rio Grande Valley and generated interest from national media outlets. On Saturday morning, a protest was held outside the Starr County Jail, where Herrera was in custody, calling for her release.
“Although with this dismissal Ms. Herrera will not face prosecution for this incident, it is clear to me that the events leading up to this indictment have taken a toll on Ms. Herrera and her family,” Ramirez said in the release. “To ignore this face would be shortsighted. The issues surrounding this matter are clearly contentious, however based on Texas law and the facts presented, it is not a criminal matter.”
Ramirez went on to say that his office will continue to be in communication with counsel representing Herrera.