READ | Murder in Gwinnett: Mom charged with killing 4 children, father
MORE | Gwinnett mom felt 'devil-like spirit' before stabbing children, husband
PREVIOUSLY | DA: No death penalty for Gwinnett mom who killed 4 kids, husband
Martinez’s defense attorney, Don Geary, told Channel 2 Action News she pleaded guilty, but mentally ill. Prosecutors were not available to comment late Tuesday.
On that July morning, investigators found the bodies of Martin Romero, 33, and four children: 2-year-old Axel, 4-year-old Dillan, 7-year-old Dacota and 10-year-old Isabela Martinez inside the family's home. A 9-year-old girl, Diana, was seriously injured but survived the attack. She would later recount the details to investigators, including how her mother told her she was "going to the sky to see Jesus."
Martinez initially claimed a “family friend” had killed her family, but she couldn’t provide a name. But little Diana told a different story.
<p>Isabel Martinez</p> <p>Isabel Martinez</p>
Diana Romero told a Division of Family and Children Services worker that Martinez began stabbing the children first. When Martin Romero tried to stop her, Martinez stabbed him, according to a DFCS report. Martinez was not crying or screaming as she killed her family members, Diana told a DFCS worker.
The family had just returned from a trip to Savannah. After the killings, Martinez told a DFCS worker she felt a "devil-like spirit" was trying to take her children when they were playing in the ocean.
Hundreds attended the memorial service for the family, where a statement was read from other relatives.
“First, we would like to thank you all for the outpouring of support and the continuous prayers that have been given to our family through this unimaginable circumstance,” the statement read. “The love and kindness we have received from many has been a comfort for us in our time of grief.”
The DA's office announced last year it would not seek the death penalty against Martinez.
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In a small mobile home community in Gwinnett, Isabel Martinez was charged with multiple counts of murder in the stabbing deaths of four of her children and their father. (Erica A. Hernandez/AJC)