PNT Staff Report
Police used a warrant at the Portales Public 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 arrest affidavits.
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.
“We were looking for material consistent with the writings we found in the home,” Portales Police Capt. Lonnie Berry said.
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.
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.
“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.
The district attorney said that all of the books seized were books Gilman had checked out in the past.
Gilman’s grand jury appearance was postponed earlier this week while a mental competency evaluation on Gilman is performed. That process could take 60-90 days, Chandler said.
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.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.