Lawyer Charged For Sneaking Abortion Drug Into Pregnant Wife’s Drinks
Mason Herring, 38, is accused of saying the pregnancy ‘would ruin his plans and make him look like a jerk’
Mason Herring’s pregnant wife noticed the water that her husband had given her was cloudy only after she’d drunk it, court documents state.
When she asked about it, Herring allegedly told her the cup or the pipes inside the Houston home were probably dirty before taking the drink and hurrying away. The woman’s cramping started about a half-hour later on March 17, according to an affidavit. Severe bleeding followed, forcing her to go to an emergency room.
“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,” the affidavit states.
Earlier this month, a grand jury in Harris County indicted Herring, 38, with assaulting a pregnant woman — his wife and the mother of their two children. Herring is a Houston-based personal injury attorney who first got his Texas law license in 2011.
It’s unclear how far along Herring’s wife was with her third baby when she went to a hospital in March. The incident occurred about six months after Texas’s Heartbeat Act took effect. One of the most restrictive bans in the country, the law essentially blocks all abortions after the six-week mark by empowering citizens to sue anyone who helps a person get one after that point, whether it’s the doctor doing the procedure or the driver providing transportation to the clinic.
Herring’s lawyers, Dan Cogdell and Nicholas Norris, did not immediately respond to a request for comment Sunday. In a statement to KTRK, Cogdell said they “very much look forward to our day in court and are thoroughly convinced that we will prevail in a Court of law when our time comes to defend these allegations.”
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The Herrings’ 11-year marriage was strained before either of them knew about the pregnancy, a Houston Police Department investigator wrote in an affidavit. In February, Herring told his wife he wanted to separate and moved out, although he agreed to go to couples counseling, the investigator wrote.
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Soon after, the wife learned she was pregnant, he added. On March 8, she told Herring about it during a couples counseling session, the affidavit states. She would later describe her husband’s reaction as “negative” and tell police that he sent her text messages expressing that he wasn’t happy about the pregnancy and didn’t know what to do, according to the affidavit.
Herring said that “this would ruin his plans and make him look like a jerk,” the affidavit states.
The Herrings’ couples counselor suggested they temporarily reconcile by spending spring break together with their two children, ages 6 and 2 at the time.
The Herrings did. During that week in mid-March, Herring started talking about his wife’s hydration, telling her that she needed to drink more water, the affidavit states. Then, around 8 a.m. on March 17, he allegedly brought her breakfast with the cup of water. That led to a day-long bout of symptoms that forced her to the emergency room, where the bleeding continued, according to court documents. She returned home that night.
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Over the next week, Herring tried to give her four more beverages, the affidavit states. Wary, she drank none of them, having noticed “an unknown substance” in three and a broken seal on the fourth — a bottle of orange juice.
About a month later, on April 20, Herring’s wife invited two people to her house as “witnesses” to her husband’s anticipated visit, the affidavit states. Herring arrived that morning to take their children to school, and even though she had two beverages in front of her, he allegedly tried to give her another. The wife told police she and her two confidantes all saw “an unknown substance” floating inside.
The next day, Herring brought another drink, this time one from a Sonic fast-food restaurant, according to the affidavit. Again, his wife told investigators, she noticed an unknown substance. Again, she didn’t drink it.
On April 24, the wife watched surveillance camera footage, noticing that Herring had cleaned out his truck and taken the trash to the curb, something she described as out of character, the affidavit states. After he left, she inspected the trash and discovered open packs of “Cyrux,” police said. She learned it was a Mexican version of the American-made Cytotec, whose main ingredient is misoprostol, which she knew could be used to induce abortions, according to the affidavit.
On April 26, Herring allegedly returned. While there, his wife saw him making a beverage in the kitchen, the affidavit states. She watched as he pulled a plastic baggie out of his pocket, emptied its contents into a liquid and eventually served the drink in her bedroom, according to the affidavit.
The next day, she reported what had happened to police.
The investigator with the Houston Police Department watched surveillance footage that showed Herring cleaning trash out of his truck, the affidavit states. The investigator also saw video of Herring allegedly taking a plastic baggie out of his pocket and emptying its contents into a liquid. Herring then added cranberry juice and water to the concoction, the affidavit states.
Herring’s wife also gave the investigator photos of the various drinks, and he saw “an unknown substance” in all of them, according to the affidavit.
Officials sent to an Oklahoma lab samples of six of the beverages that the wife saved and then gave to police, Harris County prosecutor Anthony Osso said, according to KTRK. At least two tested positive for misoprostol, the station reported.
The wife gave birth to a slightly premature baby, who is healthy and doing well, Osso said, according to KTRK.