María Reyes García Pellón, a 52-year-old woman from Valladolid, killed her husband Matthew White shortly after he went to bed on Sunday, February 10. The 55-year-old basketball player was stabbed inside the couple's home in Media, a suburban town located 19 kilometers from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. When she confessed to the crime, García Pellón said she had caught her husband watching child pornography on his computer. The alleged murderer is now being held without bail and under surveillance for fear that she will attempt suicide inside Delaware County Jail.
García Pellón's attorney, Kathryn Labrum, is convinced that her client was experiencing a psychotic episode just hours before killing her husband. The local press reports that on the same day that García Pellón attacked her husband with a knife, she had been over to the house of some friends to tell them she was very concerned about the Chinese government's plan to infiltrate the minds of Americans and turn them into the killers of children. She said this is exactly what happened to Adam Lanza, the young man who went on a fatal shooting rampage at a school in Newtown in the United States in December.
Shortly after that, the former University of Pennsylvania basketball player came to collect his wife after receiving a call from their friends. At first García Pellón refused to get in the car because she was convinced there was a bomb in it. Later, they drove to Riddle Memorial Hospital, where an emergency room staff member declared her to represent no danger to herself nor anyone else, the Delaware County Daily Times reports. (It was initially believed that Garcia Pellón was seen by a mental health specialist at a psychiatric crisis unit.) Still, White made an appointment to have his wife see a psychiatrist the following day, intending for her to be admitted as a patient. But that never happened.
That night, after midnight, García Pellón went to the kitchen to pour herself a glass of water and grabbed two knives. Back in the bedroom, she hid one of them under her side of the bed, and with the other she stabbed her husband in the neck as he slept.
She told friends of a "government plan to infiltrate the minds of Americans"
"I'm dying! I'm dying!" the victim cried out as he struggled for his life, according to the police account. Afterwards, the woman changed her clothes and went over to a friend's house to inform her she had just killed Matt because he had been looking at child pornography.
"I caught [White] looking at pornography -- young girls. I love kids, I had to do it," she reportedly said. García Pellón worked as an assistant teacher at an elementary school in Nether Providence, in the same county.
The friend alerted the police, who found White's body lying on the bed. His wife has been charged with first-degree murder.
María Reyes García Pellón and Matthew White met in Spain in the early 1980s. The basketball player came to Europe after playing for Penn and reaching the NCAA college finals in 1979. For the next 10 years White played for Spanish basketball teams such as Miñón de Valladolid, Náutico de Tenerife, Granollers and Granada. The couple had two children, who are now in college.
The only problem inside that home was María´s bad mental health"
García Pellón's attorney said that her client is a "very sweet" woman and that there was no background of abuse in the family. The attorney's office is in possession of the computers that were found inside the home to check the claim that White had accessed child pornography, said spokesperson Emily Harris, adding that the procedure would take several days.
"The only problem inside that home was María's bad mental health," said the lawyer, who a little over two years ago did the paperwork to secure US citizenship for her client. White had suffered an ischemic stroke five years ago, and the kids were worried that if something happened to their father, their mother might be forced to return to Spain due to her lacking US citizenship.
García Pellón is due to appear before a judge on February 25, although her defense has requested that the hearing be postponed. Labrum trusts the psychiatric reports will prove her right and show the attack was caused by mental illness. Proving that the murder was an act of madness by a delusional woman would prevent a criminal investigation that could land García Pellón on death row.