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Defense lawyers want trial in 4 killings pushed to 2021

Posted at 9:42 AM, Oct 18, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-18 12:42:01-04

Lawyers for a Salvadoran immigrant charged with four northern Nevada homicides want to postpone his trial to determine whether he has an intellectual disability that makes him ineligible for the death penalty if convicted.

Public defenders for 20-year-old Wilber Ernesto Martinez-Guzman have filed a motion for a continuance in the trial scheduled to begin April 6, 2020, perhaps delaying it until February 2021.

They say their recent trip to El Salvador to interview family members and review his medical files produced information that indicates he's constitutionally barred from capital prosecution. They say his IQ is much lower than originally believed, and he may have been exposed to pesticides and fertilizers while working in farm fields.

Prosecutors say it's not enough evidence to warrant such a lengthy delay in the prosecution of the case stemming from a weeklong killing rampage in January.