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Mother accused of killing kids, husband gives thumbs up in court


A mother accused of fatally stabbing her husband and her four children gave a thumbs up to news cameras during her initial court appearance.
A Georgia mother accused of fatally stabbing her husband and four of her children gave a thumbs up to news cameras and took a bow during her initial court appearance.
Isabel Martinez appeared before Gwinnett County Court Friday to face five counts of murder, five counts of malice murder and six counts of aggravated assault. U. S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement spokesman Bryan Cox told ABC Martinez, whom he identified as Maria Isabel Garduno-Martinez, also entered the country illegally.
The 33-year-old mother wagged her finger and shook her head as the judge reviewed the charges.
She was arrested Thursday at her home in Loganville just before 5 a.m. for allegedly murdering her four children and husband — identified as Martin Romero, 33; Isabela Martinez, 10; Dacota Romero, 7; Dillan Romero, 4; and Alex Romero, 2, WSB-TV reported.
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A fifth child, Diana Romero, was also stabbed, but was in stable condition at a children’s hospital in Atlanta. According to a GoFundMe page set up to help pay for funerals and medical costs, Diana has gone through surgery and will likely remain in the hospital for a few weeks before starting physical therapy.
Martinez was all smiles during her Friday court appearance, often grinning directly into cameras. At one point she stood up and offered a sweeping bow before sitting back down and offering a thumbs up to reporters.
Gwinnett County Magistrate Judge Michael Thorpe warned her to “cut out the display for the cameras. It’s really not a good idea. It’s not really to your benefit.”
Martinez also rejected a court-appointed attorney, despite qualifying for one, CNN reported.
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“My attorneys are always going to be the people and my faith, ” she said in Spanish through an interpreter. “Those are my attorneys, that’s why I’ m here.”
The judge recommended she accept legal counsel, but couldn’ t force her to do so, according to the news station.
“I’ m representing the people that’s humble, that’s hardworking, the people that suffer the people that have a lot of charges so that they understand everything is possible through God, ” she said.
As she left the courthouse, Thorpe could be heard muttering: “Wasn’ t that delightful?”
Police said Martinez had been cooperative with investigators, though they have not yet revealed a possible motive in the deadly attack.
“This is a horrendous crime, not only for the victims but for the extended family, neighborhood and community, ” police said in a statement. “We are hoping and praying that the remaining victim survives.”
With News Wire Services

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