Judge Sends Krystal Lerma to Prison for 27 Years
SAN ANGELO, TX -- District Judge Ben Woodward sentenced Krystal Nicole Lerma to 27 years in prison Thursday for her role in the murders of Jimmy Andrew Gonzales and Anthony Martinez.
Lerma was wearing an orange Tom Green County Jail jumpsuit in court as she sat attentively listening while Judge Woodward outlined his reasoning for the sentence.
A jury on Wednesday found Lerma guilty of burglary of a habitation with the intent to commit robbery for her role in the murders.
The hearing began with closing statements from defense attorney Jimmy Stewart and District Attorney Allison Palmer. Stewart admitted that Lerma was guilty of participating in the crime that took the lives of two men. He called her actions a tragic mistake and her behaviour reckless.
Stewart said testimony showed she was a good mother and a good person, graduating from high school and working for a living. Stewart asked the Judge for ten years in prison probated for ten years.
Palmer told the court that she was on the other end of the punishment spectrum. She said Lerma’s action was wanton disregard for the lives of others and a betrayal of trust. Palmer asked Judge Woodward to sentence Lerma to life in prison.
Judge Woodward then addressed Krystal Lerma. He told her that she was confused about telling the truth. Woodward said Lerma didn’t go to the police until she heard they were looking for her and that her actions were dishonest and despicable. He then told her that he would sentence her to 27 years in prison following the reading of victim impact statements.
Two family members of Gonzales and Martinez read victim impact statements to the court. They were emotional and described how the families had been impacted by the loss of the two men. Both had children.
After the victim impact statements, Judge Woodward pronounced Lerma’s sentence of 27 years in prison. He told her that today is the longest day of the year, the first day of summer, and that he wanted her to remember this day every year as the day she began to change the way she thinks about the truth.
Lerma was given credit for the two years she has already served in jail and will be 53-years-old when she is released from prison if she serves the full term.