Can we cut straight to the penalty phase? After all, an Arizona woman already asked an Orange County judge to put her to death last year for allegations she murdered her two children in a Santa Ana hotel room instead of turning them over to her ex-husband who had full custody.
Scottsdale's Marilyn Kay Edge is scheduled to be arraigned in Santa Ana this morning after the grand jury handed down a murder indictment Tuesday alleging the 43-year-old suffocated her 13-year-old son and 10-year-old daughter before trying to kill herself in a Costa Mesa car crash.
She faces two counts of murder with special circumstance allegations of lying in wait. In October 2013, the 43-year-old had agreed with an Orange County judge to delay her arraignment "only if you promise to give me the death penalty."
According the Orange County District Attorney's office (OCDA), Edge was under an order to return her son Jaelen and daughter Faith to their father in Georgia by noon on Sept. 15, 2013, as the Air Force reservist had full custody of his children. But days before, Edge drove the kids to California with promises of fun activities like the beach and Disneyland, say prosecutors.
Just after 8 a.m. on Sept. 14, 2013, Edge crashed a gray Honda Accord into steel poles protecting an electrical vault in the parking lot of the Albertsons supermarket at 2300 Harbor Blvd., Costa Mesa, and has first responders approached her she wrapped a cord around her neck, the OCDA says.
She told police about her children, whose bodies were found just after 9 a.m. inside the Hampton Inn & Suites at 2720 Hotel Terrace, Santa Ana, according to prosecutors. The original arraignment statement last year indicated the children had been poisoned. The OCDA had not yet explained why this year's indictment alleges the pair was suffocated.
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However they died, Mark Edge, the father of the children, was so grief struck by the news he received on the front porch of his Marietta, Georgia, home that he had to be hospitalized, his attorney Marian Weeks told City News Service's Paul Anderson.
It had taken him years to win visitation, at which point his former wife moved with the children to Scottsdale. Mark Edge had to fight unfounded allegations his wife aired that he physically abused her and a friend of her ex-husband molested their daughter. Years of violating visitation orders led to the judge granting Mark Edge full custody, according to Weeks.
"If she just let him have weekend visitation, he would be the happiest person in the world, but she couldn't do that," Weeks said of Marilyn Edge. "It became so obvious that she would do anything to prevent visitation with her children."