Mom Charged in 5 Murders Scolded for Court Antics

Isabel Martinez is accused of fatally stabbing 4 of her kids, their father
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 7, 2017 11:00 AM CDT
Mom Charged With Killing 4 Kids Mugs for Camera
Isabel Martinez gestures towards news cameras during her first court appearance Friday in Lawrenceville, Ga.   (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

A woman charged with killing four of her young children and their father smiled and flashed a double thumbs up to news cameras during her first court appearance Friday before telling a judge she doesn't want an attorney. Isabel Martinez, 33, appeared before Gwinnett County Magistrate Judge Michael Thorpe a day after police said she stabbed the five to death and seriously injured another child at her home outside Atlanta, per the AP. The injured child, a 9-year-old girl, survived but remains hospitalized with injuries police described as serious. Before the hearing began, Martinez sat with other inmates and struck poses for cameras—smiling, giving a double thumbs up, putting her hands in a prayer position, and spreading her arms out wide.

As Judge Thorpe listed the charges she faces—five counts of malice murder, five counts of murder, and six counts of aggravated assault—Martinez smiled, shook her head "no", and wagged her finger at him. The judge advised her sharply not to perform for the cameras. When the judge informed her of her right to have an attorney, she said through a Spanish-language interpreter that she doesn't want one. She later added that her attorney will always be the people and her faith. Thorpe advised Martinez to hire a lawyer or to allow one to be appointed for her. The four children killed were identified as Isabela Martinez, 10; Dacota Romero, 7; Dillan Romero, 4; and Axel Romero, 2. Their slain father was Martin Romero, 33. (More mother stories.)

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