Mom accused of killing 4 kids and their father shows bizarre behavior in court
ATLANTA – A woman accused of killing four of her young children and her father smiled and made a double push for new cameras in her first hearing Friday before telling a judge she wants no lawyer.
Isabel Martinez, 33, appeared before Gwinnett County Magistrate Judge Michael Thorpe, a day after police said she stabbed five to death and seriously injured another child at her home on the outskirts of Atlanta.
The injured child, a 9-year-old girl, survived but was hospitalized with injuries that police described as severe.
Before the opening of the hearing, Martinez sat down with other inmates and posed for the camera poses: smiling, thumbing, putting his hands in a prayer position and stretching out his arms.
At one point, he left the bank and knelt in front of the cameras before a bailiff has warned the session, reports CBS affiliate WGCL.
While Thorpe LJ lists the charges against him – five counts of premeditated murder, five counts of murder and six counts of aggravated assault – Martinez smiled, shook his head “no” and extended his finger. The judge advised him not to perform for the cameras.
“Lady, you will be warned to split the screen for the cameras. This is not really a good idea and probably not in your favor,” Thorpe said.
When Thorpe was informed of his right to have a lawyer, he said through an interpreter in Spanish that he did not do it. It was later added that his lawyer will always be the people and their faith.
“What making a person take the lives of innocent children and spouse is something we will never understand,” Gwinnett County police said in a statement. “This is a horrible crime, not just for the victims, but for the big family, the neighborhood and the community.”
Psychologists and others who study cases of accused mothers kill their children say that it is not as rare as people think. But the media often focuses on dramatic cases like Andrea Yates, who was found not guilty on grounds of dementia to death in 2001 drowning her five children at her home in the suburbs of Houston.
Other cases receive less attention because when a woman kills a newborn or deaths of children accused of neglect, said Cheryl Meyer, co-author of two books on mothers who killed children based on about 1,000 cases in 1990.
That’s about one death every three days. In any case, the total based on media reports at the time underestimate the reality, said Meyer, a professor of psychology at Wright State University in Ohio.
Isabel Martinez appears in a constituency of Gwinnett, Georgia July 7, 2017 WGCL
In cases where mothers intentionally kill, Meyer said that there is often other influence, such as mental health problems, postpartum depression or the loss of a loved one nearby.
“We like to classify women as outcasts, who are not like us,” Meyer said. “I discovered that this was not the case.”
Some neighbors from the small area, largely to Loganville, about 30 miles east of Atlanta, said he had no idea that nothing was happening in the house until police had coped the scene Thursday by the morning. Neighbors said the Spanish-speaking family had recently moved into the community and their children seemed happy to play with other children in the neighborhood.
Jim Hollandsworth, the project’s route speaker, a nonprofit organization that runs an after-school program that the family’s children attended, said the family was in the community for a few months. While the children spoke English as a second language, he said, they did it on the tongue.
“It’s horrible, it’s devastating, everyone is completely shaken,” he said. “The kids were busy at what we did, they were happy, they were great kids with a bright future.”
Gwinnett County police cape. Michele Pihera confirmed that the call to 911 came from a woman who was inside the house at 4:47 pm on Thursday to report a stabbing. Police believe Martinez made the call.
Pihera said the caller speaks Spanish, which prevented 911 operators from communicating with her. The county sheriff’s office said Martinez is waiting for immigration and enforcement of US Customs but gave no further details.
The hospitalized girl, Diana Romero, was in serious but stable conditions Thursday