Salvadoran pleads not guilty to 4 northern Nevada murders

March 19, 2019
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FILE - In this Jan. 24, 2019 file photo, Wilber Ernesto Martinez-Guzman, 19, of El Salvador, is escorted into the courtroom for his initial appearance in Carson City Justice Court in Carson City, Nev. A grand jury has indicted Martinez-Guzman on murder charges in the killing of four northern Nevadans in January. The district attorneys for Washoe and Douglas counties scheduled a news conference in Reno Thursday, March 14, 2019, to provide an update on the case, including their decision on whether to seek the death penalty for Martinez-Guzman.(AP Photo/Scott Sonner, File)

RENO, Nev. (AP) — A 20-year-old Salvadoran immigrant in the U.S. illegally has pleaded not guilty to charges that he killed four people in Nevada in January.

Wilber Martinez-Guzman entered the pleas to four counts of open murder at his arraignment in Washoe County District Court on Tuesday. He also pleaded not guilty pleas to burglary and possession of stolen weapons charges.

His trial was scheduled for April 6, 2020.

Prosecutors announced last week they want Martinez-Guzman to be executed if he is convicted.

The case has drawn the attention of President Donald Trump, who says it shows the need for his proposed border wall.

Prosecutors say the president’s opinion played no role in their decision to seek the death penalty.

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