Today Maurice Tyqwan Herrera, 32, was sentenced to life in prison after being found guilty as charged of Battery, Kidnapping, Robbery and Theft of a Motor Vehicle. He was found guilty following a two-day trial in Lee County in June.
The crime started on February 14th, 2018, Valentine’s Day. Throughout the day the defendant was contacting a woman he had previously had a relationship with to try to get her to meet him to allegedly give her some things he needed to return. She agreed to meet him later that night. Just after 11 p.m. the victim drove her car to a meet-up location with the defendant in Lehigh Acres. Shortly after Herrera got into her car, he began an argument with the woman. He wanted her to pull over and let him out. She stopped the car and he began punching her. She opened the driver’s door and he lunged across the seat, continuing to punch her until she fell out onto the ground.
The defendant crawled over the seat and got out of the car through the driver’s side door. He kept punching the victim and then started to kick her. He then grabbed her by the hair and dragged her along the ground to the passenger side of the car. He put her in the front passenger seat and then climbed over her to get to the driver’s seat.
He then drove for about 45 minutes into Collier County with the victim pleading with him to let her go. The entire time he was threatening to kill her and continued to punch her. At one time she opened the door and tried to jump out of the car but he grabbed her by the shirt, tearing it, and pulled her back in.
Herrera had to slow down at an intersection in Immokalee and the victim tried again to escape and successfully opened the car door and jumped out while the car was still moving.
A woman in a vehicle behind the car saw the victim jump out and called 911. The victim had multiple injuries from the beating and road rash. She was able to tell law enforcement who kidnapped her and beat her. She survived the ordeal.
The defendant drove away in her car after she jumped out and then abandoned the vehicle. It was found about a mile away from where the victim escaped. Collier County Sheriff’s Deputies handled the initial scene. The Lee County Sheriff’s Office then picked up the case from there. A “be on the lookout” or “B.O.L.O.” was put out quickly for the defendant in case he was seen anywhere.
The day after the kidnapping, a detective with the Lee County Sheriff’s Office had a warrant for the arrest of Herrera that had just been signed by a judge. The next step would be locating the defendant. Moments later that detective got a call from another detective to say Herrera was in a hospital in Fort Myers. He had been dropped off hours earlier for a drug overdose and was currently in a coma. He remained in the hospital for about a month but recovered and was taken into custody after he was released.
Assistant State Attorneys Natalie Savino and Olivia Ferrell prosecuted the case.
State Attorney’s Office