Prosecutors in two counties where an illegal immigrant allegedly murdered four people are seeking the death penalty for his crimes. North Nevada was shaken by the string of murders until the alleged killer was apprehended by law enforcement in January.
Wilber Ernesto Martinez-Guzman, 20, was arrested January 19, 2019, by Washoe County Sheriff’s department and charged with multiple offenses while prosecutors and investigators worked on charging him for the four murders. They rarely invoke the death penalty but the severity and heinous nature of the crimes warrant capital punishment, according to prosecutors.
“We reserve the death penalty for the worst of the worst,” Washoe County District Attorney Chris Hicks said last Thursday. “We use it sparingly.”
The illegal immigrant from El Salvador is accused of shooting and killing Gerald David, 81, and his wife, Sharon, 80, in Reno and Connie Koontz, 56, and Sophia Renken, 74, in Gardnerville.
Just as traffic fines are doubled in construction zones, so too should penalties be increased when illegal immigrants commit crimes. His immigration status was not taken into account, but the crimes themselves were enough for prosecutors to seek the death penalty.
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