Published: Sat, July 08, 2017
Hi-Tech | By Ellis Neal

Mother stabs husband children to death, gives thumbs up in court

Mother stabs husband children to death, gives thumbs up in court

A woman accused of killing four of her young children and their father smiled and posed for cameras, giving a double "thumbs up" sign to a photographer as she awaited her first court hearing. She remains in serious condition.

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".

During her appearance, Martinez smiled, extended her arms and gave a thumbs up to cameras.

A judge charged Martinez with six felony counts of aggravated assault and five counts of murder, as well as five counts of malice murder. Deon Washington of the Gwinnett County Police said it was reasonable to believe the family had lain dead in the home all night.

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 a home near Atlanta, Georgia. The relative, identified as Hallie Romero, of Loganville, said Diana is expected to be in the hospital for two to three weeks.

"What prompts a person to take the life of such innocent children and her spouse is something we may never understand".

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"We continue to pray for Diana's recovery both physically and emotionally as she learns about what happened to her father and siblings", police said in a statement to PEOPLE.

Isabel Martinez is accused of stabbing her four children under age 10 to death along with their father on July 6. "Those are my attorneys, that's why I'm here".

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

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. She crossed the border at an unknown time and location, Cox said. A Gwinnett police spokeswoman told PEOPLE that Martinez is cooperating with investigators, but officials would not reveal a motive for the killing.

On Friday, neighbors and community members set up a memorial featuring candles, stuffed animals and a cross outside Martinez's home to mourn the loss of the family. "I had to explain to her that some of them had passed on", she said.

Martinez was immediately taken into custody Thursday morning after police responded to the home at around 4:45 a.m.

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