A Georgia woman accused of slaughtering her whole family grinned and laughed her way through a bizarre court appearance on Friday, at one point leaving her chair to go down on her knees, arms spread wide in a kind of bow to an invisible audience.
“Stop talking,” said Judge Michael Thorpe as Isabel Martinez fidgeted and mugged for the cameras during her arraignment Friday morning, according to Atlanta’s Channel 9 News.
The Gwinnett Daily Post reported that Martinez, 33, is accused of the stabbing deaths of her husband and four children and the attempted murder of a fifth child who is currently hospitalized in serious but stable condition.
At around 4:47 a.m. on Thursday, Gwinnett Police received a 911 call reporting several people stabbed in a house in Loganville, GA.
“When officers arrived,” wrote the Daily Post‘s Cailin O’Brien, “they found the Romero, who was in his mid-30s, dead in the home along with four of his children. Pihera said it’s up to the Gwinnett County Medical Examiner’s Office to determine the exact cause of death, but warrants against Martinez allege that she stabbed the family members sometime between 2 a.m. and 5 a.m.”
The mother of five was charged with “six counts of felony aggravated assault and ten counts of murder,” said Channel 9.
When the charges were read aloud to her, Martinez continued to smile and shake her head at news cameras.
“Ma’am, I’m going to caution you to cut out the display for the cameras. It’s really not a good idea and probably not to your benefit,” Judge Thorpe warned.
Martinez’ preliminary hearing is scheduled for July 20. She is being held at the Gwinnett County Jail and is insistently declining legal assistance, saying that “the people” and her faith are her defense.
Authorities in Georgia contacted Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), who said that Martinez “is a Mexican national who illegally entered the United States and is in the country unlawfully. This is her first encounter with ICE so we cannot estimate how long she’s been in the country; she crossed the border to an unknown time/location.”
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