ATLANTA — The Latest on the deaths of a man and four children outside Atlanta (all times local):

12:10 p.m.

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.


9:30 a.m.

A Georgia woman charged with killing four of her young children and their father told a judge she doesn’t want an attorney, saying her attorney is the people and her faith.

Isabel Martinez faces 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 outside Atlanta.

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

Gwinnett County Magistrate Court Judge Michael Thorpe strongly advised the 33-year-old mother Friday to hire an attorney or to allow one to be appointed for her.

Thorpe told Martinez she will have a preliminary hearing on July 20.


9:15 a.m.

A woman charged with killing four of her young children and their father wagged her finger at a judge as he read the charges against her, prompting the judge to rebuke her about her behavior.

Isabel Martinez is charged 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 outside Atlanta.

Police said a fifth child, a girl, survived with serious injuries.

At her first appearance Friday morning, the 33-year-old mother smiled, gave a “thumbs up” sign and posed for news cameras as she waited for the hearing with other inmates.

Gwinnett County Magistrate Judge Michael Thorpe advised her to stop performing for the cameras.


9 a.m.

A woman charged with killing four of her young children and their father smiled and posed for cameras, giving a double “thumbs up” sign to news cameras as she awaited her first court hearing.

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 outside Atlanta.

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.

Her first hearing in the case was set for Friday morning at Gwinnett County’s detention center.


This item has been corrected to show the woman gave a “thumbs up” sign to news cameras, instead of a photographer.


4:15 a.m.

A woman charged with killing four of her young children and their father is due in court, 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. She faces a hearing Friday.

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.