The Associated Press
PORTALES — Police used a warrant at a Portales library to seize magic and witchcraft books that had been checked out by a woman who is charged in the Jan. 4 death of her 6-year-old son.
Teresa Gilman, 24, told police “the devil was in my son,” according to a copyright story in Saturday’s editions of the Albuquerque Journal.
Gilman’s 8-year-old daughter told police that on the morning her brother, Lorenzo Cabral, died, her mother poured salt in a circle around the boy’s body. Police found writing describing a “ritualistic type ceremony” in Gilman’s residence, an affidavit says.
The Office of the Medical Investigator determined the cause of death was blunt force trauma to the boy’s head, with drowning a possible contributing factor.
Gilman is being held without bail at the Roosevelt County Detention Center. She has been charged with first-degree murder or, in the alternative, child abuse resulting in death, and four counts of child abuse related to her three other children.
Gilman’s defense attorney obtained a court order this week directing the state Health Department to arrange a psychological evaluation to assess the woman’s competency to stand trial and her sanity at the time of her son’s death.
Results are expected in 60 to 90 days.
Before the order was obtained, the case had been scheduled to go before a Roosevelt County grand jury.
Gilman’s mother, Ramona Risinger, told police Gilman was pouring water into the boy’s mouth from a milk jug when she stopped by her daughter’s home.
Gilman said God and the devil had instructed her to give the boy water “to flush out the devil,” Risinger told police.
The books collected by police on Thursday were: “The Magic Power of White Witchcraft” by Gavin and Yvonne Frost; “Making the Gods Work for You: The Astrological Language of the Psyche,” by Caroline Casey; and “The Witch’s Book of Magical Ritual: Use the Forces of Wicca to Direct Your Psychic Powers,” by Gavin Frost.
Police also collected a book about Scientology that Gilman had checked out in the past.
“We believe the way some of the child abuse resulting in death happened can be related to stuff that’s in those books,” said District Attorney Matt Chandler, who declined to discuss how he believes the child received the trauma injuries.
If Gilman is found mentally competent, the case will proceed to trial.
If she is found incompetent to stand trial, a judge could commit her to state mental health authorities if there is a finding through clear and convincing evidence that she committed the alleged crime, Chandler said.
Gilman’s three other children — an 11-month-old boy, a 3-year-old boy and the 8-year-old girl — are in the custody of Child Protective Services, Chandler said.
Gilman also was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia.