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Father: Mentally ill daughter was ‘good Samaritan’ who stabbed man after he attacked her

Malia Gomez, 40, (R) is seen during her arraignment at Cambridge District Court in Medford, Massachusetts February 3, 2014. (Jessica Rinaldi For The Boston Globe)
Malia Gomez, 40, (right) appeared in Cambridge District Court in Medford today, where she was ordered to undergo a mental competency exam. Jessica Rinaldi for The Boston Globe

MEDFORD — The 40-year-old woman accused of stabbing a Cambridge man to death was a “good Samaritan’’ who acted in self-defense after the man she allowed to stay in her home attacked her when ordered to leave, the woman’s father said today.

Malia Gomez appeared briefly in Cambridge District Court here today. Judge Roanne Sragow-Licht entered a not-guilty plea on Gomez’s behalf and ordered the woman to undergo the competency evaluation, a move endorsed by both the defense and Middlesex prosecutors.

Gomez is accused of fatally stabbing Dana Robinson, 46, whose body was found by Cambridge police on the blood-stained steps of the building at 396 Putnam Ave.

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Following the arraignment, Gomez’s father, Mel Gomez, said her daughter had allowed Robinson to stay in her apartment because of the cold weather. After a period of time, the father said, Malia Gomez asked Robinson to leave.

The father said Robinson struck her and the violence between the two escalated, ending only when Malia Gomez struck out in-self defense.

“She was being a good Samaritan,’’ Mel Gomez said. “It was definitely self-defense.’’

He said his daughter is mentally ill.

Mel Gomez also offered his condolences to Robinson’s relatives and friends, saying he was “sincerely sorry for what happened.’’

During the brief proceeding, several people stood up in the courtroom and announced, “We are here in support of the deceased.’’ Court officers quickly silenced them, and they left the courtroom.

Men stand up and announce that they are there on behalf of the deceased before being escorted out of the courtroom during an arraignment for Malia Gomez, 40, at Cambridge District Court in Medford, Massachusetts February 3, 2014. (Jessica Rinaldi For The Boston Globe)
Friends of Dana Robinson ( Jessica Rinaldi for The Boston Globe) The Boston Globe

Afterward, they declined to speak with reporters.

According to authorities, Cambridge police responded to the Putnam Avenue building at about 6:25 a.m. Sunday to investigate reports of an unconscious man. Robinson was later pronounced dead at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

In a police report filed in court, police quoted Gomez as telling them that she let Robinson into her apartment around midnight Sunday, but that they began to argue because “he wouldn’t get up out of my house.”

Gomez allegedly described Robinson as her uncle but also said she could not remember his last name. She told police that Robinson had assaulted her near her right eye and temple. But police said in the report that “there were no visible signs of an injury.’’

Gomez told police that she grabbed a knife and stabbed Robinson once in the chest before running out of the building. She made her way to the Shell station on Memorial Drive, where she called Cambridge police, police said.

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