Lawyers for murder suspect say client is mentally deficient

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RENO, Nev. (AP) - Update: Lawyers for Wilber Ernesto Martinez-Guzman say they plan to file a motion to have him declared mentally disabled.

Martinez-Guzman, accused of murdering four people in Northern Nevada, appeared for a status check Monday, July 29, 2019.

His public defender, John Arrascada, notified the court Martinez-Guzman's IQ is 66 and may be lower by other measuring standards. They are planning a trip to El Salvador to look into his background, and are planning to perform more mental tests on their client.

No decision has been made on an appeal to the state Supreme Court to overturn the judge's ruling upholding a grand jury's authority to indict Martinez-Guzman in Reno for two of the fatal shootings outside the county. On Monday, his lawyers did not ask for a stay, but are not waiving their right to one.

The judge is asking all pretrial issues be resolved by November 2019.

Martinez-Guzman's next status hearing is scheduled for August 26, 2019.

Original Story:

Lawyers for a 20-year-old Salvadoran immigrant accused of killing four Nevadans are asking the state Supreme Court to overturn a judge's ruling upholding a grand jury's authority to indict him in Reno for two of the fatal shootings outside the county.

Click for earlier stories about this case.

Public defenders for Wilber Ernesto Martinez Guzman want the high court to dismiss two counts each of murder with a deadly weapon and burglary in the January deaths of Connie Koontz and Sophia Renken in Douglas County south of Carson City.

They say a Washoe County grand jury exceeded its jurisdictional powers when it indicted him in March on four murder charges following a weeklong killing rampage that ended with the shooting of an elderly couple in Reno.

A Washoe County judge sided last month with prosecutors who argued all Nevada grand juries enjoy statewide jurisdiction for felonies.

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