Just put up Jozlynn Martinez

I just profiled the case of Jozlynn Mari Martinez, a two-year-old who disappeared in February of this year. I actually don’t recall hearing about her before yesterday, when I encountered an article on the case. Jozlynn’s mother’s boyfriend, Jeffrey Malmberg, was convicted of her murder earlier this month.

It’s an extremely sad case. She was such a beautiful, innocent little girl, not even toilet-trained yet, and the man she thought of as Daddy knelt on her chest and pressed the life out of her. Then he discarded her body like so much trash. It was almost certainly incinerated at a local waste disposal plant.

The case reminds me a lot of Haleigh Cummings: physical abuse, dysfunctional adults who were marginal parents at best, drug use, etc. Jozlynn’s mother, Consuela, lost custody of her baby son right after Jozlynn disappeared and it doesn’t look like she’ll get him back anytime soon, although the plan thus far is for reunification. (Malmberg, the baby’s father, has relinquished his rights.) I feel deeply sorry for Consuela and I believe she loves/loved her children, but from the sounds of it the little boy is better off in foster care. His mother has mental illnesses that she’s not getting treatment for, she used drugs and allowed other people to use drugs in the house with the children, and she doesn’t seem to do a very good job picking out boyfriends. And the grief and guilt from Jozlynn’s death would cripple even the strongest and best of mothers. I hope she gets her act together. I hope her son is either reunited with her or adopted in a timely fashion, and not stuck in foster care limbo all his childhood.

Rami Saba to rely on Allah to defend him in murder trial

This article is six weeks old, but I just found it: Rami Saba, one of two defendants charged with killing the missing Donald Dietz, has fired his attorneys, saying “I rely on Allah” to get him out of his predicament. Technically speaking, he’s going to represent himself, in spite of the judge telling him it was a terrible idea and basically begging him to get that nonsense out of his head.

Saba, who acknowledged his religious interest is relatively recent, had a basic knowledge of the legal system, but said that his faith in Allah was all he really needed. If he is convicted, and goes to prison for life, it will be Allah’s will, he said. […] Saba recently underwent a psychological evaluation, and was found competent to stand trial. Last week, his attorneys revealed to the court that Saba had in recent years been diagnosed with delusional disorder. But the information was not enough to change the examiner’s opinion that Saba is competent, Green told the court. […] He considers Allah the “best protector,” who would help him understand the law.

Good luck, Rami.