January 26, 2019

Illegal immigrant, 19, accused of murdering 4 people in NV, indicted on weapons charge, burglary

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Wilber Ernesto Martínez-Guzmán, a 19-year-old immigrant from El Salvador, appeared before a judge in Carson City with a Spanish-language interpreter and a public defender by his side.

The judge spent more than 25 minutes reading aloud a 36-count criminal complaint that suggested theft of property as a motive for the killings. The judge imposed bail of 500,000 dollars.

Martínez-Guzmán was charged with murder and did not plead guilty to theft, stolen property and weapons charges that are often punishable by decades in prison.


The case of Carson City focuses on the possession and sale of stolen property and alleges that, due to his immigration status, Martínez-Guzmán was prohibited from having 12 firearms that were stolen from a couple who was found dead on October 16, 2018, at his home in South Reno.

Prosecutor Melanie Brantingham told The Associated Press she could not say if any of those weapons were used in the killings. The weapons included several shotguns and bolt action rifles, at least one military-style weapon and one pistol.

Carson City Sheriff Ken Furlong said the rifles and shotguns were found buried in a road on the edge of the Ambrose Carson River natural area, a rural spot on the hills overlooking the capital city of the state.



The pistol was found in a BMW in which Martínez-Guzmán was arrested on Saturday. "This is not a crime of street property," Brantingham told the judge. "Most of the goods alleged in the complaint belonged to victims of homicide."

Even if Martínez-Guzmán posts bail, immigration authorities could detain him pending deportation proceedings. The judge scheduled a hearing on February 8 to determine if there is sufficient evidence to send the case to trial.

A pawnbroker told the AP that Martínez-Guzmán used his passport to identify himself at the Carson City store, where he is accused of selling jewelry allegedly stolen from some of the dead.


Immigration authorities could detain Martinez-Guzman l Source: Pixabay

Martínez-Guzmán did not speak English well, "but there was nothing to make us say: 'This is weird or strange,'" said Allen Rowe, owner of several coin stores in Northern Nevada.


Rowe said the routine receipt paperwork sent to local bailiffs, along with the video of the store, brought the authorities to Martinez-Guzman last week.

"We had him in the camera, we had his ID, they could identify who he was," Rowe said. "Because we did everything overboard, it caused this person to be trapped, if he had sold it online or had met someone else, he could not have been reported."

Martínez-Guzmán earned $ 412 selling jeweled rings l Source: Pixabay


Court documents allege that between January 12 and January 17, Martínez-Guzmán earned $ 412 selling jeweled rings from one victim and $ 126 selling an engraved ring that belonged to another.

The murder investigation began on January 10, when Connie Koontz, 56, was found dead at her home south of Carson City. Three days later, the body of Sophia Renken, 74, was discovered in her house, not far from Koontz's house.

Reno's dead couple was found less than a week later. Gerald David and his wife, Sharon, who were 81 and 80 years old, respectively, were prominent and official members of the Reno Rodeo Association.

A felony charge against Martinez-Guzman alleges that he had several belt buckles with their names valued at up to $ 3,500.



Furlong said federal immigration authorities told investigators that Martínez-Guzmán was illegally in the United States. Immigration and customs officials have not provided details on how he entered the US.

Judging by the speech of President Donald Trump and the emphasis he has put on his idea of building a wall on the border with Mexico, one would think that illegal immigration is a growing problem in the United States.

However, the number of undocumented migrants in the country has declined "drastically" every year since 2008, according to the Center for Migration Studies.


In a similar story, Macario Cerda, a 39-year-old undocumented immigrant who raped the two daughters of a woman he used to date, was found guilty and sentenced to 401 years in prison.

As stated in court records, the man’s crimes took place between 2009 and 2013. Cerda kidnapped one of his then-girlfriend's daughters on February 26, 2013, took her to a remote location, and raped her.


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