The Ottumwa Courier

AP National

September 18, 2013

Mom charged with killing children asks for death

SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) — 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.

Looking 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 if she wanted her arraignment postponed to Oct. 25, Edge twice said, "Only if you promise me the death penalty."

Edge could be eligible for the death penalty if convicted. The judge postponed her arraignment.

Edge was being held on suicide watch, Deputy District Attorney Sonia Balleste said. She had told the children, whose custody she had just lost, that they were visiting Southern California to go to beaches and Disneyland, Balleste said.

A phone call seeking comment from Edge's attorney, Deputy Public Defender Arlene Speiser, was not immediately returned.

One special circumstance allegation filed by prosecutors claims the children were poisoned.

Balleste would only say there was evidence of poisoning found in the hotel room where the bodies of Edge's daughter Faith and son Jaelen were discovered. An autopsy has been performed, but toxicology tests are pending.

Asked about her reaction to Edge's request for the death penalty, Balleste said: "The only death penalty I've seen her be efficient at was the death of her children. All the rest is just talk."

Edge, of Scottsdale, Ariz., lost custody of the children 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 the Santa Ana hotel.

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