The man who murdered Gardnerville Ranchos residents Connie Koontz and Sophia Renken in their homes within four days and a few blocks of one another in 2019 admitted four counts in Douglas County District Court on Tuesday.
Wilber Martinez-Guzman, 22, has now admitted to four counts of murder in the first degree and burglary with a firearm, and agreed to be sentenced to a maximum of two life terms without the possibility of parole.
That doesn’t include the two life sentences he faces in Washoe County after he admitted to the murders of Reno residents Jerry and Sherry David.
Just the burglary charges and the deadly weapon enhancements add up to 28-70 years in prison at his sentencing scheduled for March 3, 2022.
Martinez-Guzman acknowledged that he will never be free under an agreement with the state in which he will not face the death penalty.
“It means I will spend the rest of my life in prison,” Martinez-Guzman said through an interpreter.
“Today was the next step in seeking justice for the equally heinous crimes that Martinez-Guzman committed in Douglas County — the senseless murders of Connie Koontz and Sophia Renken,” Douglas County District Attorney Mark Jackson said. “Today was also about honoring and respecting the collective desires of all of the victims’ families in bringing finality to these cases.”
Jackson told District Judge Tom Gregory that he anticipated needing the entire day for the sentencing hearing, so the families of the victims could provide impact statements.
“The family members … will finally have an opportunity to tell the court how the murders have impacted their families,” Jackson said. “They will have an opportunity to see that justice is served.”
Under the agreement, Martinez-Guzman’s attorneys won’t be permitted to introduce mitigating evidence at the sentencing.
Douglas is the second step in the agreement. Jackson said he didn’t know when Martinez-Guzman would be coming to Carson City to answer charges there.
Once all the guilty pleas are filed, Martinez-Guzman will be the subject of a pre-sentence investigation by the Nevada Department of Parole and Probation. Under the agreement, he will be sentenced in Washoe County on Feb. 28, and will appear in Douglas in the following week.
Jackson pointed out to Gregory that if the agreement failed to be consummated, he would go forward with the death penalty.
“Absolutely,” he said.
In order to do that, two new public defenders would have to be appointed and they would be facing a daunting task to just go through the record, so far.
Jackson said there were 10,000 pages and 1,000 hours of audio any new defense team would have to go through before they could adequately represent Martinez-Guzman.
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