The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

Local News

September 18, 2013

Mom charged with killing kids wants death

Ex-husband given custody before deaths

SANTA ANA, Calif. — A woman charged with killing her 13-year-old autistic son and 9-year-old daughter in the midst of a custody dispute asked a judge for the death penalty Tuesday during her first court appearance since her arrest.

Appearing disheveled, her head down and hands behind her back, 42-year-old Marilyn Edge appeared by video link for an arraignment on two counts of murder with special circumstances.

When Orange County Superior Court Judge Craig Robison asked Edge if she wanted her arraignment postponed to Oct. 25, she twice said, “Only if you promise me the death penalty.”

The judge postponed the arraignment.

A phone call by The Associated Press for comment from Edge’s attorney, Deputy Public Defender Arlene Speiser, was not immediately returned.

Authorities haven’t released many details of the case, but one of the special circumstances filed by prosecutors alleges the children, daughter Faith and son Jaelen, were poisoned.

Edge, of Scottsdale, Ariz., lost custody of them on Wednesday in a Georgia case, then texted her ex-husband, Mark Edge, two days later that she would bring the children back on Sunday, his attorney Marian Weeks said. The children were found Saturday in a Santa Ana hotel room.

Mark Edge was informed about the death of the children early Sunday by Atlanta police and was taken to a hospital for duress.

“He’s emotionally, extremely distressed,” Weeks said. “He is getting better. His whole focus right now is on the children.”

Marilyn Edge could be eligible for the death penalty if convicted.

She was driving a car that crashed Saturday into an electrical box outside a shopping complex in Costa Mesa. She refused to get out of the car and tried to choke herself with an electrical cord as rescuers attempted to free her, Santa Ana police Cpl. Anthony Bertagna said.

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