Defense seeks insanity defense; Woman charged in stabbing death of uncle

The attorney for a 20-year-old woman accused of stabbing her uncle to death in 2017 has notified the Cameron County District Attorney’s Office that she will raise an insanity defense at her trial.

Paola Michael Martinez is accused of stabbing her uncle, Alejando Perez Ramirez, 53, to death on Jan. 24, 2017. She has pleaded not guilty and is scheduled for trial on Feb. 5.

A forensic psychiatric evaluation conducted by Dr. Tomas A. Gonzalez revealed that while Gonzalez believes Martinez is competent to assist her attorney, Nat C. Perez, with her defense, he also determined that Martinez suffered from auditory and visual hallucinations that interfered with her ability to know right from wrong when she stabbed her uncle twice in the chest, killing him. That evaluation was ordered by 357th state District Judge Juan A. Magallanes at the Cameron County District Attorney’s request.

On Wednesday morning, Martinez appeared in court after Assistant District Attorney Jose Arreola filed a motion asking Magallanes to appoint another expert other than Gonzalez to re-examine Martinez for competency and provide a second opinion.

Perez, Martinez’s attorney, challenged that request, asking Magallanes whether the DA’s Office wanted another expert appointed to see if that expert would contradict Gonzalez, who is also a state expert.

“We get the results back and the results are not what they wanted,” Perez said. “Now they want another one?”

Magallanes also questioned the state’s request, inquiring whether it planned to fight Gonzalez, its own expert, during the trial.

“You don’t have that evidence right now and you want me to create it,” Magallanes said, adding that he doesn’t want to be talked into shopping for an expert.

Arreola disputed those assertions, arguing that the DA’s Office was allowed to seek an expert to examine Martinez in the event Perez raises an insanity defense. Perez didn’t provide the state notice of an insanity defense until nearly two hours after that hearing.

Magallanes told Arreola that he could submit questions to Gonzalez when Perez gave notice for the insanity defense and declined to appoint another expert.

When Gonzalez interviewed Martinez, she accused her uncle of repeatedly raping her and physically abusing her on multiple occasions over a two-year period. Gonzalez reported that Martinez told him she began to experience hallucinations after the second alleged rape.

“She stated it was a deep voice and it said to her, ‘I am sent by the dark one.’ She added she also saw a ‘vision of the voice that would talk to me wearing a white suit with a black tie,'” Gonzalez wrote in his report.

Martinez alleged that on the day she killed her uncle, he tried to rape her while she was walking to a convenience store. While she was following a wooded path, the “white suit man” told her that her uncle was following her and said to her “I am going to get inside of you and help you make your uncle stop.”

She then stabbed her uncle to death before being arrested by police at a nearby park where she was covered in blood and planning to drown herself, according to Gonzalez’s report.

“She stated the ‘white suit man’ told her, ‘I told you I was going to make him stop. No one can see me but you. Go for reason of insanity,” Gonzalez wrote in his report.

After her arrest, Martinez allegedly admitted to killing her uncle and court records indicate that police found a murder “to-do” list while investigating the killing.