Isabel Martinez, a 34-year-old Gwinnett woman accused of stabbing her four children and husband to death, pleaded not guilty in court. According to WSB-TV, Martinez won’t face the death penalty because of her “apparent mental issues.”
Martinez is charged with five counts of murder, one count of aggravated assault and one count of third-degree cruelty. Her only surviving child, 9-year-old Diana Romero, said Martinez stabbed the kids first and when her 33-year-old husband, Martin Romero, tried to stop her she stabbed him too.
Martinez called 911 in July 2017 and initially told police a “family friend” stabbed her family, but didn’t give them a name. When first responders showed up they found her sitting with cut wrists among her dead family. People who knew Martinez and the family told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution she felt “a devil-like spirit” was trying to take her children when they were “playing in the ocean near Savannah” leading up to the killing. Romero told a DFCS worker her mother wasn’t “crying or screaming” as she stabbed them, but simply said she was “going to the sky to see Jesus.”
She’s being held at the Gwinnett County Detention Center without bond. The AJC reports Martinez hasn’t been ordered to be psychologically evaluated.