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Doctor: Woman suffered psychosis; Niece killed uncle for raping her

December 21, 2018

A Cameron County District Attorneys Office psychological expert has determined that a 20-year-old woman who stabbed her uncle to death in early 2017 did not know her actions were wrong at the time of the murder because of psychosis.

Paola Michael Martinez is accused of stabbing her uncle, Alejandro Perez Ramirez, 53, to death on Jan. 24, 2017. She has pleaded not guilty.

A forensic psychiatric evaluation conducted by Dr. Tomas A. Gonzalez that was entered into the court record on Dec. 12 reveals that while Gonzalez believes Martinez has recovered enough to be competent to assist her attorney, Nat C. Perez, with her defense, he also believes that auditory and visual hallucinations interfered with Martinez’s ability to know right from wrong when she stabbed her uncle twice in the chest, killing him.

The District Attorney’s Office requested the evaluation in September to examine her for competency as her trial date neared. A status hearing is scheduled for early February.

To reach his conclusion, Gonzalez said he examined Brownsville Police Department arrest records and law enforcement narratives; diaries seized from Martinez’s bedroom; Valley Baptist Medical Center clearance records; the reporter’s record from Martinez’s Habeas Corpus hearing; a psychological consultation report by Pinkerman Psychological Services; the recorded and transcribed police interview between Martinez and two detectives; and through two one-on-one interviews with Martinez that he conducted on Oct. 18 and on Nov. 16.

During those interviews, Martinez told Gonzalez in graphic detail how her uncle repeatedly raped her and also physically abused her on multiple occasions over a two-year period that only ended after she stabbed him to death.

After the second rape, Martinez told Gonzalez that she began to experience hallucinations.

"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.

The day of the killing, Jan. 24, 2017, Martinez said her uncle 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 told Gonzalez all she remembers is hiding behind a tree trunk where she had hidden a knife because gang members in her neighborhood had been picking on her and when her uncle found her and told her he was going to rape her, she stabbed him in the chest.

The Brownsville Police Department arrested her at a nearby park where she was covered in blood and planning to drown herself.

"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,’" according to Gonzalez’s report.

The last time Martinez saw the ‘white suit man’ was on Dec. 28, 2017, when she was alone and he walked toward her. She also said she would see her uncle in the corner and that she suffered from screaming and crying spells and couldn’t sleep.

"Ms. Martinez stated, ‘The white suit man comes from a place where all there is is fire. I used to tell Santa Murete that I needed to see the dark lord,‘" according to the report, which states that she believed Santa Muerte sent the ‘white suit man.’

At the time of the offense, she did not know what she was doing was wrong, Gonzalez determined.

"In fact, Ms. Martinez believed at the time of offense that she was acting in self-defense, guided and assisted by the auditory hallucinations in her head and the visions of a dark ‘force,’" according to the report.

Since the time of the murder, through treatment, Gonzalez determined that Martinez, who he diagnosed as suffering from Clinical Depression with psychosis, has recovered and her mental illness is in remission.

Martinez told Gonzalez she is eager to go to trial in the case and communicate her position.

mreagan@brownsvilleherald.com

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