WASHINGTON — An undocumented immigrant referenced by President Donald Trump in support of building a wall on the southern US border has been charged with killing four people in Nevada this month, prosecutors said Monday.
Wilber Ernesto Martinez-Guzman, an El Salvadoran native who was arrested on January 19, admitted to killing a Reno, Nevada, couple using a gun he stole from their home, police said in a probable cause statement. He was not charged in the deaths at the time of his arrest.
Prosecutors in Washoe and Douglas counties filed a criminal complaint charging Martinez-Guzman with four counts of murder, with the use of a deadly weapon, and five counts of burglary, Washoe County District Attorney Christopher Hicks told reporters.
Hicks said four of the burglary counts alleged he either gained possession of a firearm or had a firearm during each burglary.
“His conviction is our highest priority,” Hicks said.
Authorities said Connie Koontz, 56, was found dead January 10 in her home, and Sophia Renken, 74, was discovered dead January 13, also in her home. Three days later, Jerry David, 81, and his wife, Sherri David, 80, were found killed in their Reno home.
Investigators also discovered that possessions, including firearms, were stolen from the victims’ homes.
Martinez-Guzman told investigators he killed the Davids with a gun stolen from their home and said where he buried the firearm, according to the probable cause document. Ten additional guns were found at the same location. Martinez-Guzman was found with weapons and other items stolen from the homes of the four victims.
He was arraigned January 24 on 36 charges of burglary, possession of stolen property and obtaining money by false pretenses. A judge set his bail at $500,000.
His attorney did not respond to CNN’s request for a comment last week.
Hicks said Martinez-Guzman, who is being held in Carson City, is expected to be held without bail when he is transferred to Washoe County.
Two days after Martinez-Guzman’s arrest, the President tweeted: “Four people in Nevada viciously robbed and killed by an illegal immigrant who should not have been in our Country …. We need a powerful Wall!”
Martinez-Guzman has been in the United States for at least a year working odd jobs, including construction. He has family, including his mother and siblings, in Carson City, and his family has been cooperating in the investigation, Douglas County Sheriff Dan Coverley said.
He said Martinez-Guzman has no prior involvement with law enforcement.