Murder prosecution in Ranchos, Washoe cases will be in Reno | RecordCourier.com

Murder prosecution in Ranchos, Washoe cases will be in Reno

A man accused of shooting and killing two Gardnerville Ranchos women will be prosecuted in Washoe County.

Douglas County District Attorney Mark Jackson and Washoe County District Attorney Chris Hicks announced a criminal complaint was filed in Reno Justice Court against El Salvadoran Wilber Martinez-Guzman, 19, who is being held in Carson City on three-dozen charges there.

Jackson said bringing the charges in a single venue would be the best way to seek justice in the case.

"I want to assure citizens of Douglas County that we will prosecute this case to the fullest extent of the law," Jackson said. "This case is my highest priority."

Jackson said he will be prosecuting the case with the Washoe County district attorney.

According to the charges Jackson read, they believe that Martinez-Guzman broke into a barn on the property of Reno residents Sharon and Jerald David on Jan. 3 and again on Jan. 4, when he took a .22 caliber handgun.

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No police report was filed in that first case.

Gardnerville Ranchos resident Connie Koontz was found dead in her James Road home on Jan. 10. Jackson said Koontz' home was burglarized. He is also accused of entering Sophia Renken's Dresslerville Road home sometime Jan. 12-13 and shooting her with the same gun.

Jackson said that according to the information filed with the court, Martinez-Guzman then returned to the David home and shot Jerald and Sharon David.

He said the crimes were so intertwined between the two communities that both staffs felt trying the case in a single venue was the best course of action.

The decision on whether to pursue the death penalty against Martinez-Guzman must be made within 30 days of his arraignment on the murder charges in Reno.

He is currently being held in Carson City on an immigration hold.