Maria Isabel Garduno-Martinez, 33, is accused of murdering her husband and four of her children in the family's home in unincorporated Loganville, Georgia.
She was charged with five counts of murder, five counts of malice murder, and six counts of aggravated assault in the alleged stabbing attack, according to authorities.
Immigration authorities confirmed that the Georgian mother was in the country illegally and that they have placed a hold on Garduno-Martinez and that this was the first time the agency had encountered her.
On Thursday, police received a call from Garduno-Martinez to report the killings. When police arrived, they found her husband’s body and the those of four kids, ages 10, 7, 4, and 2.
“What prompts a person to take the life of such innocent children and her spouse is something we may never understand,” the Gwinnett County Police Department said in a statement. “This is a horrendous crime not only for the victims but for the extended family, neighborhood and community.”
A 9-year-old-girl was found in serious but stable condition and continues to recover in the hospital.
According to the Associated Press, Garduno-Martinez didn’t want an attorney at her recent court hearing, saying her lawyer is the people and her faith.
Garduno-Martinez gave a “thumbs up” sign, smiled and posed for the cameras as she waited for the trial to start.
Gwinnett County Magistrate Court Judge Michael Thorpe warned that her blasé attitude in the court room was inappropriate.