The mother of Jose Manuel Martinez, the man officials say confessed to killing more than 30 people across the country, described herself Wednesday as completely overwhelmed and wary about the truth of his statements.
In an interview at her Richgrove, Calif., home Wednesday afternoon – the day after officials announced Martinez was being charged with nine counts of murder committed in the Central Valley and Santa Barbara County and spanning 30 years – Loreta Fernandez said she was still processing the news.
“This is hard for me – really hard,” she said in Spanish. “I’m still shaking. I’m not in a condition to deal with this.”
Fernandez said she last spoke with her son in June, when he was detained trying to cross back into the U.S. after a trip to Mexico. Officials at the border stopped him because there was a warrant for his arrest in a murder case from Lawrence County, Ala., where he’s currently being held without bail.
Fernandez said she didn’t know details about any of the cases and that even though officials say he confessed, she doesn’t believe he carried out the killings.
“I’m just the mother of my son,” she said. “All I can say is God bless him and that not everything he’s saying is true.”