STAMFORD — A city woman accused of not calling for medical help in time to save her daughter-in-law’s life has pleaded not guilty.

Mercedes Collazo Martinez, 60, entered the plea Wednesday to the charge of negligent cruelty to persons in the November death. Martinez was released after posting $250,000 court appearance bond.

Defense attorney Lindy Urso argued Martinez should be seen “more as a victim than a defendant” in the case.

“We pleaded her not guilty because that is the normal procedure in a criminal case and she does maintain her innocence in the case,” Urso said. “She was fond of her daughter-in-law and again this is one of those situations where Mercedes should be looked at more as a victim than a defendant.”

Martinez was charged just days after medics found her daughter-in-law Iris Lopez unconscious in her West Side apartment. Lopez was taken to Stamford Hospital where she died on Nov. 27.

Police said Lopez had 30 to 40 bruises on her body and was diagnosed with a “massive” brain bleed caused by a traumatic injury to the side of her head.

Supervisory Assistant State’s Attorney Paul Ferencek said Martinez was well aware of her daughter-in-law’s injuries as early as the morning before medics were called.

“By her own admission when she saw (Lopez) at 9 a.m. Tuesday, she was frothing at the mouth and was unconscious,” he said.

The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner has not yet determined the cause or manner of Lopez’s death.

Her husband, Hector Lopez, has also been charged with cruelty to persons in the case. He has not yet made a plea to the charge.

jnickerson@stamfordadvocate.com