UPDATE: Mom charged in kids’ deaths in country illegally

ATLANTA (AP) – Immigration authorities say a woman charged with killing four of her young children and their father is in the country illegally.

U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement spokesman Bryan Cox said in an email Friday that Maria Isabel Garduno-Martinez, whom local law enforcement identified as Isabel Martinez, is from Mexico and entered the U.S. illegally.

Martinez faces five counts of malice murder, five counts of murder and six counts of aggravated assault.

Police said a fifth child, a 9-year-old girl, survived with serious injuries.

Police said Martinez called 911 to report the killings from the home the family shared outside Atlanta.

Immigration authorities have placed a hold on Martinez. Cox said this is her first encounter with immigration authorities, and it’s not clear how long Martinez has been in the U.S.


ATLANTA (AP/WSAV) – A woman charged with killing four of her young children and their father was due in court today, one day after police say she stabbed the five to death and seriously injured another child at a home outside Atlanta.

Authorities in Georgia charged 33-year-old Isabel Martinez on Thursday afternoon with five counts of malice murder, five counts of murder and six counts of aggravated assault, hours after police said she called 911 to report the killings from the home the family shared.

According to a live report from News 11 in Atlanta, Martinez showed up in court today and said she could not afford an attorney. When the judge offered an attorney be appointed, she denied the offer. She spoke through an interpreter during the brief hearing.

Police said a fifth child, a girl, survived but remained hospitalized with injuries described as serious.

Psychologists and others who study cases of mothers accused of killing their children say it’s not as uncommon as people might believe.

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