Friend: Mother accused of poisoning kids was good person - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Friend: Mother accused of poisoning kids was good person

Connie Villa, 35 Connie Villa, 35

There's more to Connie Villa, 35, than what you see and hear on the news, according to friends of the Casa Grande mom.

Villa is accused of poisoning her four children on Christmas Day, leading to the death of her 13-year-old daughter.

Jan Haner has known Villa for years.

"I never saw anything in Connie, other than a loving mother. A concerned mother, " said Haner. "I didn't see any signs of outrageous behavior, stress, anger or anxiety. I did not see that."

Authorities were called to Villa's apartment on Christmas after her ex-husband, Adam Villa, called police to report that he had been stabbed by his ex-wife.

When officers arrived at the Colony Apartments in Casa Grande, Connie Villa was inside her apartment holding a knife, police said. She had suffered numerous chest wounds.  Connie Villa's three other children were standing next to her and did not appear to be injured.

Aniarael Macias, 13, was found dead in the bathroom.

Investigators later determined the three other children had "trace amounts" of opiates in their systems.

Haner describes Connie Villa as a friendly, passionate, responsible person who had a great relationship with her four children - not someone who would intentionally hurt them.

"It's not normal behavior for anyone, but its really not normal behavior for Connie," said Haner. "To us it seems out of place. This horrible, horrible incident seems terribly out of place."

Haner told CBS5 that she was aware of Connie Villa's marital problems and that she was going through a divorce.

However, when Connie Villa and her kids stopped by Haner's office a few weeks ago, nothing seemed out of the ordinary.

"Certainly in the last couple years, there's been some stress because of the problems she was having with her marriage," Haner said. "She always tended to hold hope for it - she thought they'd be able to work it out - thought her husband would get better and the marriage would get better."

Haner said that she thinks her friend must might have been influenced by some type of medication, that she may have been taking to deal with the stress of her divorce.

"Something happened. I don't know what it is," said Haner. "I hope they find what triggered this because it's not like her, not Connie."

An official with Arizona's Child Protective Services said they could not find any issues with this family before.

On June 2, 2014, Pinal County Attorney Lando Voyles filed a notice of intent to seek the death penalty in the state's case.

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