'It was the meth': Motive revealed for January murders

Published: Mar. 22, 2019 at 4:50 PM PDT
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By January 19, Wilber

had already been identified as a person of interest in a string of murders which had shaken the area.

Jerry and Shari David had been found dead in their south Truckee Meadows home, three days earlier. Douglas County detectives were investigating the deaths of Sophia Renken and Connie Koontz in their homes in the Gardnerville Ranchos in the week before.

An Apple iWatch taken from Connie Koontz's home had been traced to an account owned by his mother. Investigators learned she had a son. They began watching him.

By that Saturday they knew the then-19-year-old from El Salvador was in the country illegally and they had reason to take him into custody and hold him while they investigated further.

Cornering him in a Carson City parking lot, they blocked his car. Witnesses heard the boom of a flash bang grenade. He was taken into custody.

Washoe County Detective Stephanie Brady went to Carson City to interview him. She recounted that interview last week before the Washoe County Grand Jury.

He was nervous at first, she says, but as they talked, he relaxed. He was willing to talk because, he said, he had done nothing wrong.

"He was engaging, Lots of eye contact," she says. "He smiled, kind of giggled through some of the questions."

She told him some items might be recovered from his car. He said he had "found a bunch of stuff by a river" and had buried it.

But she knew some critical evidence had been found in the car, including a jewelry charm with the name "Connie" on it, an airline travel document belonging to Connie Koontz's daughter, a Reno Rodeo ID belonging to Jerry David and some fishing poles like those taken in an earlier burglary at David's home.

As she probed the inconsistencies, he began to break down.

"The answers were a little slower, his body posture a little more slumped over." Reflexively touching his face, he was more and more anxious.

She brought up the fishing poles. "There was a really long pause. He dropped his had and began to cry with long deep breaths."

"He talked about how he was an idiot,": she said. "He had done something unforgivable."

She told him he needs to talk about it. "If he tells me what he did," she says he told her, "it's not going to bring back the people he shot."

Earlier in the conversation he had told her he used methamphetamine.

Now he says, "he did it because of the drugs. He said he needed the money for the meth. It was the meth."

Martinez-Guzman was then asked about the crimes, answering yes when asked if he had shot Jerry and Shari David and Connie Koontz. He initially denied killing Sophia Renken, but when pressed admitted that as well.

At the end of the all-day session, the Grand Jury returned a 10-count indictment. He was arraigned Tuesday, standing silent,as was his right, when asked, in order, how he would plea to each charge.

A not guilty plea was entered for him. A trial date was set for April 2020.

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