A woman and her former boyfriend pleaded guilty on Monday (April 25), to beating her mother to death in her Terrytown home while stealing her drugs, and admitting guilt to narcotics, obstruction and firearms offenses.
Misty Eiermann, 36, and Bryan Schwartz, 28, pleaded guilty to manslaughter in connection with the Sept. 9, 2014, death of Mary Romano, 56. Romano was struck in the head with a blunt object at least 17 times, in her home in the 700 block of Terry Parkway, according to the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office.
Eiermann, who admitted she killed her mother, was sentenced to the maximum 40-year sentence for manslaughter. Schwartz received a 20-year sentence as a principal to manslaughter.
In pleading guilty, Eiermann testified that she and Schwartz had been drinking and using drugs that night when they decided to rob her mother of her morphine and Xanax. She asserted Schwartz held a gun to Romano’s head and pointed it at her, too.
“He said, ‘You kill her or I will.’ So I did,” Eiermann testified, reiterating one of the four contradictive statements she made following her arrest.
When he entered his guilty plea minutes later, Schwartz said he helped Eiermann.
After the homicide, the couple fled in Romano’s vehicle, which they later gave to a homeless woman who at the time lived under the South Claiborne Avenue overpass in New Orleans, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
The couple was charged with second-degree murder, which carries a mandatory life sentence in prison upon conviction. With Romano’s family members in the courtroom, Judge Henry Sullivan of the 24th Judicial District Court accepted the negotiated plea to manslaughter and handed down the sentences.
Eiermann and Schwartz also pleaded guilty as charged to obstruction of justice, for discarding the clothing they wore during the homicide, Romano’s vehicle and the blunt instrument used in the homicide. Sullivan sentenced each of them to 20 years in prison for those offenses.
Schwartz also pleaded guilty to being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm, because of a 9 mm pistol deputies found in the South Niagra Circle apartment that he and Eiermann shared. He was barred from possessing firearms because of a 2008 burglary conviction in Kentucky. He received a 20-year sentence for that crime.
Eierman pleaded guilty to illegally supplying a felon with a firearm, for providing that pistol to Schwartz, knowing he was barred from possessing firearms. She received a five-year sentence for that charge.
Each also pleaded guilty as charged charged with possession of morphine, possession of Zoloft and possession of Alprazolam. Additionally, Eiermann was charged with a second count of possession of morphine. They received five-year sentences for each of those counts.
Judge Sullivan ran their sentences concurrently.
Schwartz also pleaded guilty to being a double offender on the obstruction charge, under Louisiana’s habitual offender law, for his 2008 burglary conviction in Kentucky. His sentence as a double offender was 20 years, run currently.
During a pretrial hearing on March 12, 2015, Schwartz wiped feces on his face in the courtroom, leading the judge to order to a sanity evaluation to determine whether he was fit to stand trial. Doctors later concluded Schwartz was mentally sound to stand trial.
Assistant District Attorney Kellie Rish prosecuted the cases.