January 21, 2018

4 children, man dead in 'horrendous' stabbing; mom detained

09 July 2017, 01:13 | Kara Nash

Authorities load a body into a crime scene vehicle outside on Thursday


A woman charged with killing four of her young children and her husband smiled and flashed a double thumbs up to news cameras during her first court appearance Friday in metro Atlanta before telling a judge she doesn't want an attorney.

"My attorney is the people that we're fighting for", Isabel Martinez said through a Spanish-English translator.

Police Cpl. Michele Pihera told reporters Thursday that Martinez was "quickly taken into custody", according to ABC affiliate WSB. Her nine year old daughter, Diana Romero, was stabbed, but flown to Children's Healthcare of Atlanta.

Martinez is the main suspect in the killing of Martin Romero, 33, and their children, Isabela Martinez, 10, Dacota Romero, 7, Dillan Romero, 4, and Axel Romero, 2.

A spokesperson with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE) also confirmed that Martinez "is a Mexican national who illegally entered the United States and is in the country unlawfully". Isabel Martinez, 33 stabbed 5 members of the family to death and injured another child.

"This is a horrendous crime not only for the victims but for the extended family, neighbourhood and community".

The judge said he couldn't force her to accept counsel, but he recommended that she do so.

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

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"They (said) they are OK", Romero said, quietly.

Diana underwent surgery and is expected to remain in the hospital for up to three weeks, according to a GoFundMe page set up for the family. Their father was Martin Romero.

Police said Martinez had been cooperative with investigators, though they have not yet revealed a possible motive in the deadly attack.

It was just a few hours before dawn when authorities got a 911 call from a mobile home community off Emory Lane in Loganville.

Martinez appeared in court Friday to face five counts of murder, five counts of malice murder and six counts of aggravated assault. "She seemed so normal, like a regular mother", Letty Perez told the news station.

Ramirez said Martinez was generally a happy person who was friendly to people in the neighborhood, but after her father died, she became "a lot meaner".

"Now she's yelling at people", Ramirez said. "She was good, went to our church last weekend, she was there with us".

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