A woman who suspected that her husband was poisoning her after he gave her breakfast in bed that left her bleeding, spent weeks collecting evidence of him planting abortion-inducing drugs in her drinks.

Catherine Herring, 39, from Texas, USA, began to become cautious of her former husband Mason in February 2022, when he confronted her after nearly a decade of marriage and said he wanted to split up.

Herring had recently caught him texting a former female colleague but when she confronted him, the now ex-husband told her he needed to work on himself and moved out.

‘He just started acting really weird and wouldn’t tell me what was going on,’ Herring told the Daily Beast.

The couple shared two children together and had a third on the way, though Mason had expressed his unhappiness about the pregnancy.

Her husband, a lawyer, agreed to spend spring break with the rest of the family.

One morning, he brought Herring a biscuit and a glass of water as she lay in bed, gesturing at her to finish it before he left for the office.

‘He starts urging me, like, “Chug it, I need to go,” and he kind of had anger in his voice,’ Herring explained in an interview with the Daily Beast.

That was when she looked into the water and saw it was cloudy.

An indictment describes the events that followed. Around 30 minutes after Mason left for work, Herring began experiencing painful stomach cramps and explosive diarrhoea.

After seeing that her vagina was bleeding profusely, the 39-year-old rushed to the hospital. She kept bleeding even after she was discharged.

‘I just wanted desperately to be wrong,’ she said. ‘I wanted there to be another explanation because this is your husband who you love and adore and have children with.

‘But my instinct was, “Something’s wrong, I need to protect myself.” And I just need to make sure he doesn’t know I’m onto him. Because I felt like that was the only way I could collect evidence.’

When Herring returned home, Mason continued to supply her with drinks, each containing an ‘unknown substance,’ according to court documents.

On March 21, Herring paid a visit to John Moritz, a private investigator she had hired in hopes of figuring out why her husband had suddenly requested a separation.

Herring had meticulously collected samples of the liquid, six of which Moritz sent to a lab for testing.

At least two of the samples were shown to contain misoprostol, which is an abortion-inducing drug.
Moritz proceeded to teach the 39-year-old about methods of evidence collection. The duo installed cameras throughout the house, with Moritz urging her not to be left alone with Mason if possible.

One day in April, Catherine called two friends over after suspecting she had been drugged. Both friends saw a material floating in a drink provided to her by her husband, according to an affidavit.

On April 24, Mason cleaned out his truck and brought the trash bags to the curb, an unusual habit according to Herring.

‘[Catherine Herring] stated that this was out of character for [Mason Herring] as he does not do chores around the house,’ the affidavit alleged.
When Mason left the residence, Herring went to the trash container to see what was inside and found ‘opened blister packs’ labelled as ‘Cyrux,’ according to the affidavit.

Herring found out that these packets contained a ‘Mexican pharmacy version of the American drug Cytotec,’ which is used to prevent stomach ulcers but contains misoprostol as the active ingredient.

Days later, hidden cameras recorded Mason emptying a plastic baggie full of white powder into a glass of cranberry juice, which he then encouraged Herring to drink.

She had a friend with her at the time. ‘But he just stood in the kitchen, had a whole conversation with us, and then left for the night as if nothing had gone on,’ Herring explained.

The following day, she reported the case to the Houston Police Department.

The couple’s youngest daughter was born three months after Mason’s arrest and suffers developmental delays, still eating out of a feeding tube

Nearly a month passed before Mason’s arrest. He was charged with assault to induce abortion and assault on a pregnant person.

In late 2023, the district attorney’s office called to say they were considering a plea deal with significantly reduced charges.

Mason accepted the deal on February 7 of this year, pleading guilty only to one count of injury to a child under 15.

The judge sentenced him to 180 days in jail and 10 years parole.