TUCSON, Ariz. — Pablo Martinez, a 31-year-old man who is charged with killing his stepson by holding his head under scalding water, appeared in federal court Tuesday.
Investigators say he told them he was trying to drive demons out of the child.
Martinez did not say much during his court appearance. His attorney decided not to argue for release on bond at this point. He said there is still a lot of information to gather and he might re-open that request some time in the future.
The case against Martinez is in federal court because the 6-year-old boy, identified only by the initials G.B., was on the Pascua Yaqui Indian Reservation. By treaty with the Pascua Yaqui Nation, major crimes there are federal with the FBI leading many investigations.
Martinez "told the PYPD (Pascua Yaqui Police Department) that they would not understand, and that they were not in the right mindset or belief," according to the FBI's criminal complaint.
He allegedly told police, “G.B was demonic, had a demon inside of him, and that he needed to save him." He also told police he poured hot water down G.B's throat.
The Pascua Yaqui Fire Department took the child to Banner University Medical Center. He was pronounced dead there.
Martinez reportedly told police and the FBI the boy had been having fits of rage.
While giving the child a bath he said, "he saw something evil in G.B. and knew he had to cast the demon out."
He said he held the child's head under the faucet for five to 10 minutes with water running into the boy's mouth and "noticed the hot water was casting out the demon."
The report says another child was in the tub, too. When that child left the bathroom crying, G.B's adoptive mother intervened and called 911.