Salvadoran Man Admits Guilt in 4 Nevada Killings

1 year ago 208

RENO, Nev.—A Salvadoran migrant told a justice Thursday helium killed 4 radical successful bluish Nevada, opening a two-stage ineligible process that the justice and prosecutors said volition debar 2 decease punishment trials and enactment the 22-year-old antheral successful authorities situation for the remainder of his life.

Wilber Ernesto Martinez Guzman pleaded guilty, aft aggravated questioning by Washoe County District Court Judge Connie Steinheimer successful Reno, to 2 counts of first-degree execution successful the January 2019 deaths of Gerald and Sharon David successful their Reno home.

Steinheimer acknowledged the plea took the decease punishment disconnected the array and told Martinez Guzman helium volition person to participate ceremonial blameworthy pleas successful Douglas County to the killings of 2 women successful Gardnerville during his two-week drawstring of crimes.

Martinez Guzman told constabulary helium committed the bid of break-ins, thefts and shootings due to the fact that helium needed wealth to bargain methamphetamine.

Steinheimer said that if Martinez Guzman fails to plead blameworthy successful Douglas County, prosecutors determination and Washoe County tin void his plea woody and again question the decease penalty.

Washoe County District Attorney Chris Hicks and and Douglas County District Attorney Mark Jackson planned to conscionable with reporters pursuing the two-hour tribunal hearing.

Hicks said successful a connection earlier proceedings began that they expected Martinez Guzman volition person “maximum sentences” that would tally consecutively.

Hicks and Jackson initially planned 1 death-penalty proceedings for Martinez Guzman, but the Nevada Supreme Court ruled Sept. 30 that the suspect would person to beryllium tried separately successful the 2 region jurisdictions.

Authorities said Martinez Guzman stole a .22-caliber handgun from the Davids’ southwest Reno location connected Jan. 4, 2019; changeable and killed Constance Koontz, 56, and Sophia Renken, 74, successful abstracted attacks successful their Gardnerville homes respective days later; and returned to the Davids’ location to rob and termination them Jan 15.

Gerald David, 81, and his 80-year-old woman were salient successful the Reno Rodeo Association and had employed Martinez Guzman arsenic a landscaper the summertime before.

Martinez Guzman was arrested successful Carson City during a manhunt that had investigators way an Apple ticker stolen from Koontz to Martinez Guzman’s mother.

Martinez Guzman has been held without bail astatine the Washoe County Detention Facility successful Reno.

Washoe County sheriff’s Detective Stefanie Brady told a expansive assemblage respective weeks aft Martinez Guzman’s apprehension that helium initially denied wrongdoing but aboriginal acknowledged done a Spanish interpreter helium had “done thing that’s unforgiveable.”

“He said helium needed the wealth for the meth,” Brady testified.

The lawsuit drew attraction astatine the clip from then-President Donald Trump, who said it showed the request to physique a partition connected the U.S.-Mexico border.

By Scott Sonner

The Associated Press