An arrest warrant has been issued in the shooting deaths of two Gardnerville Ranchos women within three days of one another in January 2019.
Connie Koontz and Sophia Renkin were found on Jan. 10 and Jan. 12-13, shot with the same weapon.
The warrant was issued for the charges dismissed under order by the Nevada Supreme Court, which ruled accused killer Wilber Martinez-Guzman had to be tried in Douglas County for the killings.
Those include two counts of murder with the use of a deadly weapon and two counts of burglary while in possession of a deadly weapon.
The warrant was issued by East Fork Justice of the Peace Cassandra Jones after District Attorney Mark Jackson filed a complaint in the case. Martinez-Guzman will remain in custody in Washoe County awaiting trial with multiple holds.
The arrest warrant is the first step of many in trying Martinez-Guzman in Douglas County. It is unlikely he will appear in a Douglas County courtroom before his case in Washoe County is completed.
A hearing has been scheduled for January 2022 to determine whether Martinez-Guzman is intellectually disabled, which would prevent prosecutors from seeking the death penalty.
Should Washoe District Judge Connie Steinheimer rule that Martinez-Guzman isn’t intellectually disabled, it’s possible Guzman’s defense team could challenge that ruling in Nevada Supreme Court, returning for a third time so far in the case.
Once the case has been completed in Washoe County, Martinez-Guzman would be brought to Douglas County, where he would face a preliminary hearing in justice court.
Should the sitting justice of the peace determine there is sufficient evidence, he would be bound over to district court.
While prosecutors have 30 days after Martinez-Guzman is arraigned in district court to issue a notice they’re seeking the death penalty, it’s likely that would be revealed in justice court when the judge appoints defense counsel. Nevada requires two defense attorneys to represent a defendant in a death penalty case.