A man suspected of being in the U.S. illegally shot and killed four people in Nevada over the past two weeks, including an elderly Reno couple, authorities said, and the slayings added fuel to the immigration debate.
Wilbur Ernesto Martinez-Guzman, 19, from El Salvador, has been jailed in Carson City since Saturday on possession of stolen property, burglary and immigration charges. Authorities said they expect to file murder charges against him in Reno in the shooting deaths of a Washoe County couple and in Douglas County in the slayings of two women in Gardnerville.
Carson City Sheriff Ken Furlong said federal immigration authorities told his office that Martinez-Guzman was in the country illegally. Immigration and Customs Enforcement did not have details on his entry into the U.S.
The investigation began Jan. 10, when 56-year-old Connie Koontz was found dead in her home. Three days later, the body of 74-year-old Sophia Renken was discovered in her home about a mile (1.6 kilometers) from where Koontz lived, authorities said.
On Jan. 16, the bodies of 81-year-old Gerald David and his 80-year-old wife, Sharon, were found in their home on the southern edge of Reno.
The two were remembered as “jovial” by Tom Cates, a longtime friend who knew the Davids through Reno’s rodeo and equestrian scene.
Cates said Gerald David used his time as the Reno Rodeo Association president in 2006 to promote a breast cancer awareness campaign by getting the group’s cowboys to show they were “tough enough to wear pink shirts.”
“You walk into a room and his presence will just command attention. He was a true leader,” Cates said.
Sharon David was “exuberant” and “bubbly” and “loved animals to the hills,” he said. She was a former director of the rodeo.
Renken belonged to an antique automobile club and was known as the friendly driver of a Ford Model A who was always volunteering to help.
Robin Reedy, who was also in the Carson-Tahoe Region of the Antique Automobile Club of America, said she was surprised to learn Renken’s age.
“I would never have known she was 74 by the way she acted,” she said.
Koontz, who worked at a Walmart and as a manicurist at a local salon, was remembered by co-workers Tuesday as a positive woman who loved wearing bright colors. Her Walmart colleagues wore memorial buttons with her picture.
She was “the only person I know that could come to work wearing lime green glasses and lime green crocs and rock it,” said Teri Bower, who works at the store.
Koontz and her daughter were best friends, Bower said, and the mother had saved up money and surprised her daughter with a trip to Las Vegas for her 21st birthday in December.
This is what Speaker Pelosi and Senator Schumer have shut down our government to protect.
An undocumented immigrant in California was sentenced to 401 years in prison last week after a jury convicted him of multiple violent sex crimes against a family. And the victims are advocating against deportation, fearful he'll just return.
Macario Cerda, 39, was sentenced Thursday on three counts of forcible rape against two victims between 2009 and 2013. He was also convicted of one count of kidnapping to commit rape, one count of criminal threats and seven counts of lewd acts upon a child under the age of 14, according to a press release from the Tulare County District Attorney’s Office.
Prosecutors say on Feb. 26, 2013, Cerda was dating the victims' mother when he forced one victim into his car and drove her to a “remote location.” He raped her and threaten her family.
Cerda, who has prior convictions for felony domestic violence and criminal threats against the victims' mother, was an undocumented immigrant who was deported and returned five months later to commit these crimes, according to the Tulare County District Attorney’s Office.
During the investigation of the 2013 rape, police discovered that the victim had previously been raped by Cerda in 2010 – when she was a minor. The victim became pregnant and gave birth to a child as a result of the attack, prosecutors say.
The victim’s youngest sister, who also accused Cerda of rape and abuse beginning in 2009, spoke at his sentencing and asked that the judge not deport him over fear that he would return as he'd done before
This is an example of why deportation alone is insufficient. Many of the crimes have been committed by illegal aliens who are deported and then return. If only there were some way of preventing murderers and rapists from just crossing our border.