Las Vegas Sun

July 22, 2019

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Immigrant appeals murder case to Nevada Supreme Court

RENO — Lawyers for a 20-year-old Salvadoran immigrant accused of killing four Nevadans are asking the state Supreme Court to overturn a judge's ruling upholding a grand jury's authority to indict him in Reno for two of the fatal shootings outside the county.

Public defenders for Wilber Ernesto Martinez Guzman want the high court to dismiss two counts each of murder with a deadly weapon and burglary in the January deaths of Connie Koontz and Sophia Renken in Douglas County south of Carson City.

They say a Washoe County grand jury exceeded its jurisdictional powers when it indicted him in March on four murder charges following a weeklong killing rampage that ended with the shooting of an elderly couple in Reno.

A Washoe County judge sided last month with prosecutors who argued all Nevada grand juries enjoy statewide jurisdiction for felonies.