Mom accused in child deaths wags finger at judge

Martinez plans to defend herself against six counts of aggravated assault, five counts of murder and five counts of malice murder she faces for the stabbing deaths of her husband Martin Romero, 33, and children Isabel Martinez, 10, Dacota Romero, 7, Dillian Romero, 4, and Axel Romero, 2. Her nine year old daughter, Diana Romero, was stabbed, but flown to Children's Healthcare of Atlanta.

"She says her dad passed away months ago", said Perez.

Despite the accusations against her, Martinez looked directly into the TV cameras filming her first appearance hearing on Friday morning and shook her head as the judge read her charges. "She was good, went to our church last weekend". But because it was her first encounter with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), it was unknown how long she has been the country, according to Bryan Cox, a spokesman for the agency.

Gwinnett County police said in a statement: "What prompts a person to take the life of such innocent children and her spouse is something we may never understand".

Other cases get less attention, as when a woman kills a newborn or in children's deaths blamed on neglect, said Cheryl Meyer, a psychology professor at Wright State University in OH and co-author of two books on mothers who have killed children based on about 1,000 cases during the 1990s.

Looking directly into the court camera, she repeatedly smiled and gave double thumbs-up signs.


Police said Martinez called 911 to report the killings from the home the family shared outside Atlanta. A fifth child also was stabbed but survived.

Thorpe advised Martinez to hire a lawyer or to allow one to be appointed for her.

Isabel Martinez is accused of murdering her husband Martin Romero (pictured), along with four of their children.

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Gwinnett County police discovered a bloody scene at Martinez's home shortly before 5 a.m. Thursday in Loganville, about 30 miles east of Atlanta.

Federal immigration authorities said Martinez, whom they identified as Maria Isabel Garduno-Martinez, illegally entered the United States, though it is not clear when or where she crossed the US border. They also said that Martinez and her family were relatively new to the area and described the children riding bicycles throughout the neighborhood. The relative, identified as Hallie Romero, of Loganville, said Diana is expected to be in the hospital for two to three weeks.


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