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The Latest: Venue for NV quadruple killing trial not set

June 24, 2019
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File - In this May 20, 2019, file photo, Wilber Ernesto Martinez-Guzman is escorted into the Washoe District Court room in Reno, Nev. Washoe District Judge Connie Steinheimer denied a motion on Friday, June 21, 2019, to dismiss two murder charges against the Salvadoran immigrant accused of killing four people in Nevada in January. The defense had argued a Washoe County grand jury lacked authority to indict Martinez-Guzman for crimes outside the county. (Andy Barron/Reno Gazette-Journal via AP, Pool)

RENO, Nev. (AP) — The Latest on Salvadoran immigrant accused of killing four northern Nevadans in January (all times local):

11:50 a.m.

A judge in Reno has upheld the jurisdictional authority of a Washoe County grand jury to indict a Salvadoran immigrant accused of killing four people in Nevada in January, including two in another county.

But she acknowledged Monday the question of whether 20-year-old Wilber Ernesto Martinez-Guzman can be tried for all four deaths in the same court is a separate legal matter she’ll likely have to address before the trial is scheduled to begin April 6.

Washoe District Judge Connie Steinheimer denied two defense motions to dismiss charges tied to the two fatal shootings that occurred in Douglas County south of Carson City.

She says grand juries in Nevada have the power to indict a suspect regardless of where a crime occurred. But she emphasized she hasn’t been asked to rule yet on whether that jurisdiction extends to the venue of a trial.

Washoe District Attorney Chris Hicks says he and Douglas County District Attorney Mark Jackson remain confident of their authority to prosecute all the deaths together.

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8:30 a.m.

A judge in Reno has denied a motion to dismiss two murder charges against a Salvadoran immigrant accused of killing four people in Nevada in January.

The defense had argued a Washoe County grand jury lacked authority to indict 20-year-old Wilber Ernesto Martinez-Guzman for crimes outside the county.

But Washoe District Judge Connie Steinheimer ruled late Friday the panel had legal jurisdiction to return the 10-count indictment in March on all four murder charges as well as multiple counts of burglary and possession of a stolen firearm.

The judge also denied a defense motion over the weekend that argued Martinez-Guzman’s alleged confession to all four shootings was illegally presented to the grand jury. She scheduled a status hearing for Monday.

Martinez-Guzman is accused of killing an elderly couple in Reno and two women at their rural Gardnerville homes south of Carson City during a 10-day rampage.

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