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Illegal Alien Accused of Stabbing Her Four Children, Husband to Death

Illegal Alien Accused of Stabbing Her Four Children, Husband to Death

Nine-year-old Diana Romero was also stabbed and flown by helicopter to Children's Healthcare of Atlanta.

Her next court date is July 20. However, the judge advised Martinez to hire a lawyer or allow one to be appointed to her, and the court subsequently appointed attorney Robert Greenwald to represent her.

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

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 four kids and father were already dead when police arrived at the family's mobile home around 5 a.m. Thursday.

Meanwhile, police have said that the mother was cooperating in the investigation but has yet to offer any explanation for the killings.

"My attorneys (are) the people that we're fighting for", she said in Spanish through an interpreter.

Martinez is being held without bond at the Gwinnett County Jail for US Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials, authorities said.

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

Before the hearing began, Martinez sat with other inmates and struck poses for cameras - smiling, giving the thumbs up, putting her hands in a prayer position and spreading her arms out wide.

Other cases get less attention, as when a woman kills a newborn or in children's deaths blamed on neglect, said Cheryl Meyer, a psychology professor at Wright State University in OH and co-author of two books on mothers who have killed children based on about 1,000 cases during the 1990s.

Police Cpl. Michele Pihera told reporters Thursday that Martinez was "quickly taken into custody", according to ABC affiliate WSB.

The judge gave her a warning as he was reading her charges. A fifth child also was stabbed but survived.

Federal immigration authorities said Martinez, whom they identified as Maria Isabel Garduno-Martinez, illegally entered the United States, though it is not clear when or where she crossed the USA border.

Thursday, that little girl remains in serious condition, but she is recovering. The children who are deceased were aged 2 to 10.

Neighbor Letty Perez tells CBS46 News that Martinez had recently lost her father and the family had only lived in the home for about a month after moving to Georgia from IL. Their father was Martin Romero, 33.

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