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The Latest: $500K bail for Salvadoran held in Nevada cases

January 25, 2019
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Wilber Ernesto Martinez-Guzman, 19, of El Salvador, listens to his public defender and interpreter during his initial appearance in Carson City Justice Court, Thursday, Jan. 24, 2019, in Carson City, Nev. Martinez-Guzman was arraigned on 36 felonies including two dozen weapon charges. He's a suspect in a series of four homicides earlier this month in Reno and south of Carson City in rural Gardnerville. Prosecutors say additional charges are pending. (AP Photo/Scott Sonner)

CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) — The Latest on the killings of four people in Nevada over the past two weeks (all times local):

2:55 p.m.

A judge has set bail at $500,000 for a 19-year-old from El Salvador accused of possessing weapons and pawning property stolen from victims in four northern Nevada killings.

A prosecutor in Carson City characterized the case against Wilber Martinez-Guzman on Thursday as “not your run-of-the-mill property crime.” Melanie Brantingham noted that most of the items Martinez-Guzman is accused of possessing and selling belonged to homicide victims.

Martinez-Guzman wasn’t charged with murder and wasn’t asked to enter a plea at his initial court appearance following his arrest last Saturday.

Prosecutors in Douglas and Washoe counties say they plan to file murder charges against Martinez-Guzman in the coming days.

Judge Thomas Armstrong set another court hearing Feb. 8 to determine if the Carson City case should proceed to trial on felony and misdemeanor burglary, stolen property and other charges.

Martinez-Guzman also faces felony allegations that because he’s in the U.S. illegally he was prohibited from having 12 guns stolen from a Reno couple found dead Jan. 16.

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2:25 p.m.

A judge is reading aloud each of the 36 charges against a 19-year-old from El Salvador accused of possessing weapons and pawning property stolen from victims of four killings in northern Nevada in the last two weeks.

Wilber Martinez-Guzman is answering “yes” in Spanish as Justice of the Peace Thomas Armstrong asks if he understands each charge.

Martinez-Guzman earlier corrected the spelling of his first name as Wilber with an “e″.

Martinez-Guzman isn’t being charged with murder at his initial court appearance on Thursday.

Prosecutors in Douglas and Washoe counties say they plan to file murder charges against Martinez-Guzman in coming days.

In Carson City, he faces felony and misdemeanor charges that he possessed and pawned stolen property.

He also faces felony allegations that because he’s in the U.S. illegally he was prohibited from having 12 guns stolen from a Reno couple found dead Jan. 16.

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2:15 p.m.

A 19-year-old from El Salvador suspected of killing four people in northern Nevada is facing a Carson City judge in a case alleging he possessed weapons and pawned property stolen from victims.

With a Spanish-language interpreter, Wilber Martinez-Guzman corrected the spelling of his first name as Wilber with an “e″.

It is listed charging documents as Wilbur, but authorities have said it was listed on his passport as Wilber.

Martinez-Guzman isn’t being charged with murder at his initial court appearance Thursday.

Prosecutors in Douglas and Washoe counties say they plan to file murder charges against Martinez-Guzman in coming days.

In Carson City, he faces felony and misdemeanor charges that he possessed and pawned stolen property.

He also faces felony allegations that because he’s in the U.S. illegally, he was prohibited from having 12 guns stolen from a Reno couple found dead Jan. 16.

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12:30 p.m.

Prosecutors in Nevada have added 24 felony weapon charges to a criminal case alleging that a 19-year-old from El Salvador suspected of killing four people possessed and pawned property stolen from three of the victims.

A criminal complaint filed just hours ahead of Wilbur Martinez-Guzman’s initial court appearance in Carson City doesn’t charge him with murder.

It focuses instead on possession and sale of stolen property and alleges that because he is in the U.S. illegally he was prohibited from having 12 guns stolen from a Reno couple found dead Jan. 16.

In addition to jewelry stolen from two victims, Martinez-Guzman is accused of possessing a stolen computer, golf clubs and hand and power tools.

Prosecutors in Douglas and Washoe counties, where the slaying victims lived, say they plan to file murder charges against Martinez-Guzman in the coming days.

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11:05 a.m.

A pawn shop owner says a suspect in the killings of four people in northern Nevada used his passport for identification to sell jewelry believed to be stolen from two of the victims.

Northern Nevada Coin owner Allen Rowe said Thursday that 19-year-old Wilbur Martinez-Guzman didn’t speak English well, but nothing made store employees think the sales were odd or weird. Authorities have said Martinez-Guzman is from El Salvador and was in the United States illegally.

Rowe says routine paperwork that goes to local sheriffs, along with store video led investigators to arrest Martinez-Guzman last weekend.

Court documents filed ahead of Martinez-Guzman’s first court appearance on Thursday in Carson City allege that he sold rings belonging to a woman found dead Jan. 10 and a man found dead Jan. 16.

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10 p.m.

Neighbors are nervous in northern Nevada, where four people were killed this month in slayings that officials blame on a 19-year-old from El Salvador said to be in the U.S. illegally.

Authorities in Nevada and President Donald Trump in Washington are blaming the four killings over a six-day span on Wilbur Ernesto Martinez-Guzman, who was arrested Saturday in Carson City.

On Thursday, Martinez-Guzman is due in a Carson City court on property crime charges alleging he sold victims’ property at pawn shops.

Prosecutors in Douglas and Washoe counties, where the victims lived, say they’re preparing to file murder charges in coming days.

The victims’ neighbors have boosted security around their homes with new alarms, floodlights and cameras.

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