Just as his murder spree ended with his capture in Carson City, the 22-year-old Salvadoran man who killed Gardnerville Ranchos residents Connie Koontz and Sophia Renken in their homes completed admissions to his crimes in the capital on Tuesday.
It will have been more than three years after Wilber Ernesto Martinez Guzman, 22, killed four Western Nevadans over the course of a week in January 2019 before his sentencings in Douglas, Washoe and Carson City.
In exchange for not seeking the death penalty, Guzman agreed to admit to all charges and recommend the maximum sentence on a dozen charges, including four counts of first-degree murder, each of which carries a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Carson City District Judge James Wilson conducted an hour-long canvass of Guzman to ensure that he understood all eight charges, the evidence against him, his rights and his possible penalties.
Guzman, again through a court certified interpreter, answered Wilson’s questions most times with a simple “yes, your honor, I understand.”
He was charged with the January 2019 murders of Koontz and Renken in Douglas County and the murders of Jerry and Sherry David in Reno.
After the Nevada Supreme Court ruled that charges from all three counties could not be combined into one trial in Washoe County, prosecutors said the families of the deceased did not want to suffer through separate trials so they decided not to seek the death penalty.
In Carson City, Guzman was facing three burglary charges, four of possessing and pawning stolen property and one as a prohibited person in possession of a firearm because he is an illegal alien. The maximum penalties on those counts would add up to 54 years.
In Washoe County, which had significantly more charges against him, he was looking at a potential 80 years in prison and in Douglas County, 70 years behind bars.
Sentencing before Washoe County District Judge Connie Steinheimer is set for Feb. 28. Sentencings in Douglas County and Carson City are set for March 3 and 4.