Prosecutors will not seek the death penalty against a Georgia mother accused of fatally stabbing her husband and her four children last July, citing the woman’s mental state, according to multiple reports.
Isabel Martinez appeared in a Gwinnett County courtroom Monday for her arraignment and pleaded not guilty to five counts of murder, one count of aggravated assault and one count of third-degree cruelty to children, ABC News reports.
Martinez is accused of fatally stabbing her husband, Martin Romero, 33, and four of their children: Isabela Martinez, 10; Dacota Romero, 7; Dillan Romero, 4; and 2-year-old Axel Romero. She is also accused of injuring her 9-year-old daughter in the alleged knife attack.
Her arraignment marked the legal deadline for prosecutors to announce whether they will seek the death penalty, and they declined to do so, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.
Gwinnett County District Attorney Danny Porter told Channel News 2 that Martinez’s mental state was why prosecutors declined to seek the death penalty, according to WSB-TV.
Months before the incident, Martinez appeared to be depressed, neighbors told the Journal-Constitution.
Martinez’s entire family was asleep when she allegedly began attacking her children with a knife, and only one child survived, according to a report from the Georgia Division of Family and Children Services previously obtained by PEOPLE.
According to the report, the 9-year-old survivor said her mother asked for forgiveness before cutting her and said the girl was “going to the sky to see Jesus.”
She told her mother she did not want to see Jesus, the document states.
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During the violence, Romero, 33, awoke, saw what had happened, and tried to get help, but Martinez allegedly killed him, the report states. The little girl told caseworkers Martinez was not crying or screaming while she allegedly stabbed her family.
The report also alleged Martinez cut herself before calling 911 to report the killings.
Child welfare workers interviewed Martinez, who allegedly said she was being framed and that the real killer is a family friend who regularly visits the home, the report states. But Martinez refused to name the purported family friend, according to the report.
Martinez allegedly said that she placed all of the bodies in the same room before police came “so everyone could be together,” the report states.
Following her arrest, Martinez’s attorney, Robert Greenwald, filed a motion seeking a psychological evaluation for his client. It is unclear whether Martinez has since undergone the evaluation as PEOPLE was unable to immediately reach Greenwald Tuesday.
• With reporting by CHRIS HARRIS