A mother accused of fatally stabbing her husband and four children exhibited some truly bizarre behavior in front of cameras during her first court appearance.
During her court appearance on Friday, Isabel Martinez told Gwinnett County Magistrate Judge Michael Thorpe, with the assistance of a Spanish-language translator, that she will defend herself in court and that her “attorney is the people we are fighting for….It does not matter what color you are because God loves us all.”
Her behavior in court was nothing short of odd and inappropriate as she waited alongside other inmates for her hearing to begin. She eerily grinned at the cameras, giving a double thumbs up, and then placing her hands in a prayer position before spreading her arms out wide.
As Judge Thorpe read off the charges, she continued to smile and shake her head “no” while wagging her finger at him, to which the judge asked her to stop performing for the cameras.
“I’m going to caution you to cut off the display for the cameras,” Judge Michael Thorpe told Martinez. “It’s really not a good idea. Probably not to your benefit. I can’t physically stop you from doing it, but it ain’t a good idea.”
Martinez, 33, has been charged with five counts of malice murder, murder and six counts of aggravated assault after stabbing four of her children and their father early Thursday morning at their home in Loganville, Georgia.
The four children killed have been identified as Isabela Martinez, 10; Dacota Romero, 7; Dillan Romero, 4; and Axel Romero, 2. Their slain father was Martin Romero, 33.
A fifth child, who is a nine-year-old girl, was hospitalized after sustaining serious injuries from the attack, according to police records.
It is believed that the suspect carried out the attacks using a knife, though a medical examiner is currently investigating the exact cause of death for the five victims.
The suspect reportedly alerted police to the killings around 4:47 am Thursday and was arrested after officials arrived on the scene and found the five bodies.
The county sheriff’s office stated that Martinez is being held at a Gwinnett County jail for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement but did not provide further details.
“What prompts a person to take the life of such innocent children and her spouse is something we may never understand,” Gwinnett County police said in a statement. “This is a horrendous crime not only for the victims but for the extended family, neighborhood, and community.”
The Independent reports that Martinez’ neighbors claim the Spanish-speaking family had recently moved into the community.
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