Guzman pleads guilty to all charges, wrapping up his plea deal

Kurt Hildebrand
Record Courier

Wilber Ernesto Martinez Guzman completed his plea agreement with Washoe, Douglas and Carson City on Tuesday, pleading guilty to all eight Carson City charges.

Guzman has now entered guilty pleas to all charges against him in all three counties.

That includes the four first-degree murder charges, each of which will get him life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Asked why he agreed to plead guilty, Guzman said through an interpreter he did so to avoid the death penalty.

Carson District Judge James Wilson conducted an hour-long canvass of Guzman to ensure that he understood all the 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 Connie Koontz and Sophia 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 eight counts — 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.

Those Washoe and Douglas sentences don’t include the four life without parole sentences he will receive for the murders.

Sentencing in Carson City is set for March 4 before Wilson. Prosecutors said they intend to get all three sentencing hearings as close together as possible, in part by combining all three county pre-sentence reports into one document.

Wilber Ernesto Martinez-Guzman appears in Washoe District Court in Reno on May 20, 2019.
Provided/Andy Barron/The Reno Gazette-Journal via AP)

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