Let this one simmer a bit
Because our legal system presumes people to be innocent until proven guilty, there is a lot of legal maneuvering that most folks never really get to see in real life.
Those following the murder case against Wilber Martinez-Guzman in Washoe County could well be forgiven for concern at the developments in the case.
The brutal shooting deaths of Carson Valley residents Connie Koontz and Sophia Renken in their own homes in January caused residents across the county to fear for their lives in what should have been their safest places and deserves the most severe punishment our society can impose.
But there is a lot that goes into that process to ensure that any conviction that occurs and penalty that results is airtight.
The challenge to the Washoe County grand jury indictment that brought two counts of murder in the first degree in the deaths of two Gardnerville Ranchos residents was an expected result of trying the case in Reno.
And asking for an evaluation of someone’s competency when they’re facing a severe penalty is Lawyering 101.
But like in so many things, it’s not asking questions that is the issue, it’s the decisions rendered.
While the grand jury question has gone to the Supreme Court, we think that’s an issue of being careful what you ask for. Would it really be better to try Martinez-Guzman in Douglas County instead of Reno? We see his defenders seeking a change of venue pretty much on learning they’d won the ruling.
Over the next year, we’re going to read a lot about the legal maneuvering in this case. Some of those stories are going to be a lot more significant than others, but as with anything these days, we suggest that folks take it with a grain of salt.