- Associated Press - Thursday, November 26, 2015

COLUMBUS, Miss. (AP) - A woman accused of burning her son-in-law’s body has told a Columbus television station that she didn’t kill him but did help cover up his death to protect her grandchildren.

Lydia Martinez is charged with being an accessory after the fact to the murder of Manuel Vasquez. Prosecutors say his body was burned in a container in June and his ashes were spread around his yard in New Hope.

“Look at me. Do I look like a person that would kill somebody?” Martinez told WCBI-TV (https://bit.ly/1NwiYda ). “I just want people to believe my story, to hear my side of the story.”

Martinez spoke with the station Wednesday, hours after being released on bond from the Lowndes County jail.

“Nobody knows what I went through,” Martinez said. “It was a nightmare for me. And it was like I told God, forgive me for saying this, but I went through hell and back to save my grandchildren’s lives.”

She said she will be staying with her sister in Colorado until her trial. She and her daughter, Christina Martinez Vasquez, are scheduled for trial in February.

Vasquez is charged with murder and with domestic violence aggravated assault against her mother, whom she allegedly tried to poison with antifreeze.

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Information from: WCBI-TV, https://www.wcbi.com

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