CARSON CITY — Wilber Ernesto Martinez-Guzman, the man accused of killing four people in Northern Nevada last month, will be transferred to Washoe County next week to face the murder charges levied against him.
Carson City District Attorney Melanie Brantingham told Judge Tom Armstrong on Friday that the decision to transfer and move forward on the murder charges before the other charges in Carson City came after speaking to the families of the victims.
“It was their request that those charges be prosecuted first. They believed that was in their best interest. We, after discussion with Washoe County and Douglas County, also believed that it was in the best interest of everyone to have those charges prosecuted first,” she told reporters after the hearing.
Martinez-Guzman is accused of killing Connie Koontz, 56, and Sophia Renken, 74, both of Gardnerville, and Gerald David, 81, and his wife Sharon, 80, in Reno. He has been held at Carson City Jail since Jan. 19 on burglary and stolen weapons charges that are related to the killings.
Brantingham told the judge that she expects Martinez-Guzman will be transferred to the Washoe County Detention Facility next week.
Martinez-Guzman waived his right to have a preliminary hearing within 15 days of being charged. His attorney, public defender Karin Kreizenbeck, told Armstrong that they agree that “the more serious charges should proceed first.”
Martinez-Guzman is also being held on an immigration charge, as law enforcement has said that he is suspected of being in the U.S. illegally. Details of his immigration status or how Martinez-Guzman entered the country have not been disclosed by federal immigration authorities, and remained unclear on Friday, Brantingham said.
Martinez-Guzman’s Carson City trial was continued until July 10.