East Texas man sentenced to life in prison for strangling woman, jury deliberated 20 minutes

Crime & Public Safety

GILMER, Texas (KETK) – An Upshur County man was convicted of strangling a woman while high on meth last year and was sentenced to life in prison.

39-year-old Joshua Verhoef was arrested on August 20 after the victim was able to break away from him and run to a neighbor’s home, who called 911.

Police met the woman and saw she had multiple injuries over her body. Deputies went back to Verhoef’s home and he barricaded himself inside.

After trying to get him to come out for more than an hour, officers knocked down the back door and took him into custody.

At trial, the prosecution presented that he had 23 prior criminal convictions, including multiple felonies. Verhoef had actually been arrested for possession of meth just one week before he assaulted the woman.

A seven-man, five-woman jury found him guilty after just 20 minutes of deliberation. They then sentenced Verhoef to life in prison after an additional 30 minutes.

The case was presented in front of 115th District Court Judge Dean Fowler and prosecuted by Assistant District Attorneys Catherine McQueen and Michael Northcutt Jr.

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