Garage doors

Ranchos murderer safely in custody

After his March 3 sentencing to four consecutive life sentences with lethal weapon upgrades, along with a dozen other crimes, the man who killed four western Nevada residents was moved to the correctional center from northern Nevada where he will remain behind bars for the rest of his life. .

Serial killer Wilber Martinez-Guzman’s prison term will not expire until September 29, 2222, more than a century from now, according to the Nevada Department of Corrections.

In the unlikely event that he lived that long, he would be 123 years old before any consideration for parole.

After more than three years, District Attorney Mark Jackson has taken to the podium to press charges against the Salvadoran man who terrorized western Nevada from January 9-16, 2019, including murdering Ranchos residents Connie Koontz and Sophia “Cookie” Renkin in their homes.

Although there was no jury, there were 40 people in the courtroom to hear the sentencing, several of whom wore buttons bearing Koontz’s likeness.

Martinez-Guzman showed no emotion as Jackson began the presentation that detailed every step of the convicted killer’s activities that week and what led authorities to halt his rampage.

Three interpreters took turns translating the acts of Martinez-Guzman.

Jackson said he spoke from the podium so as not to turn his back on the gallery of family and supporters who had come to hear justice.

“It’s important to me that family members can hear me loud and clear,” Jackson said in the opening.

There is no doubt that the Salvadoran Wilber Martinez-Guzman killed the four inhabitants of Western Nevada.

The real question is whether he would have continued to kill people had he not been arrested three days after his last killings.

Jackson asked if Martinez-Guzman killed people for money to pay for his car and buy drugs, or if the stolen items were as much trophies as loot.

The 188-slide presentation that Jackson used to present the case of Martinez-Guzman receiving the absolute maximum did not include any graphic photos of the crime scenes or of the murdered women. These were among 93 exhibits sealed and seen by District Judge Tom Gregory alone.

“Today is about the victims of Douglas County,” Jackson said, opening his more than two-hour presentation with portraits of Koontz and Renkin.

Koontz lived with his elderly mother in a house on James Road. She worked at Gardnerville Walmart and did nails at T&T Salon. Her only daughter left home the previous year.

She loved going to Disneyland and was a fan of Apple products, which would eventually lead to her killer.

Renken was 74 years old and lived less than a mile from the Koontz house. She loved horses and dogs, and loved vintage automobiles.

Connie Koontz’s last communication was a text message sent at 8:44 p.m. on January 9, 2019, offering encouragement to a friend.

“She’ll be fine,” Koontz wrote. “Thank you. I have always supported you. I love you too. You are family.

Even as she texted those words, Martinez-Guzman was heading to the Gardnerville Ranchos in a blue 2006 BMW purchased the previous month.

The first indication that something was wrong at Koontz’s home, a neighbor told investigators, was that both garage doors opened around 9:30 p.m., which was rare and never happened at night.

Those doors were still open early the next morning, according to another neighbor.

The house had a double garage and a single garage. Koontz used the single car part for storage, while she kept her white Jeep in the other half.

While recreating the crime scene, it emerged that Martinez-Guzman entered through the back door of the garage and was removing the television when Koontz came out to investigate. He put the TV down in the kitchen and waited for her to come in before shooting her in the head, using a .22 revolver he had stolen a few days earlier from an outhouse belonging to Gerald and Sharon David. .

It was Koontz’s bedridden mother who dragged herself into the kitchen to discover her daughter’s body the next morning.

Koontz kept his valuables in neatly labeled bins. These were taken that night. She also kept the boxes of the all-in-one Macintosh she had recently purchased along with an iPhone 10 and an Apple iWatch. These boxes ended up being the key to cracking the deal.

Koontz’s iPhone was on when Martinez-Guzman picked it up, but he didn’t realize it until he was already heading north on Highway 395.

He was first spotted on January 12 by a cyclist traveling along the freeway near Airport Road, the same day a friend found Renkin’s body at his Dresslerville Road home.

The cyclist left it there, thinking the owner might come back for it, but when it was still there the next afternoon, he picked it up. He turned on the phone and started calling numbers to find the owner.

Investigators believe Martinez-Guzman worked at Renkin as a landscaper before the murders. Unlike Koontz, she had a dog, Peanut, who barked during the attack.

Renkin was supposed to be shopping for the man who found her body in a cast. When she failed to show up on the morning of January 13, he limped to check on her and found the door and back door open.

It was clear to investigators that several shots had been fired inside Renkin’s home, but there were no casings, confirming that Martinez-Guzman had used a revolver instead of picking up casings.

Jackson said it looked like the killer had waited for his victim again, this time in a small bathroom.

“He again put himself in a position to surprise his victim,” Jackson said. He fired five times and hit Renkin four times. “He could have turned the other way, but instead he followed her into the bedroom and shot her one last time.”

Martinez-Guzman’s cellphone date put him in the Gardnerville Ranchos around 4-5:30 a.m. on January 13. He took nothing from the Renkin house.

Never have there been two seemingly separate murders in Carson Valley in such a short time without investigators having any idea who was responsible.

Residents of Gardnerville Ranchos were particularly nervous, with deputies responding to calls from strangers knocking on doors and, in one instance, finding a woman waiting with a shotgun until they arrived.

Residents flocked for free martial arts training for women and a vigil was held at Ranchos Aspen Park.

Newsboys stayed in their vehicles during their rounds to avoid spooking residents, The RC reported. Douglas County 911 dispatchers responded to 6,464 911 calls from Jan. 9-18, where they typically handled 5,500 for an entire month.

There were 819 911 calls on January 13, when Renkin was found at her home.

On January 16, Martinez-Guzman returned to the scene of his first January 3-4 flights to the home of Sharon and Gerald David.

That night, he waited for Sharon David to let the dog out and ambushed her outside the house, killing her. He then rushed inside the Reno house with the .22 caliber High Standard Sentinel revolver he had stolen a dozen days prior and shot Gerald David several times.

But even as his killing spree accelerated, detectives began to close in on him.

After obtaining a warrant and contacting Apple, Douglas County Investigator Steve Schultz was able to learn that someone in Carson City turned it on and it connected to a server from a address linked to Martinez-Guzman’s mother.

The day after he killed the Davids, he walked into a Carson City pawnshop wearing Gerald David’s 10-karat gold Elks Lodge ring and sold it for $126, using his passport as a coin. ‘identity. David’s initials and the date December 25, 1974, when she was presented to him, were engraved on the inside of the ring.

Three days later, Carson City detectives arrested Martinez-Guzman, who had the gun strapped under the driver’s seat and several items taken during break-ins, including a Christmas mug with Koontz’s first name on it.

A search of his apartment revealed Koontz’s ownership. He told a Washoe investigator he was stealing to generate money for a $657.12 payment that fell due the day after Renkin died on his 2006 BMW. Between all the property he sold, he earned $179, less than $45 per kill.