Illegal immigrant charged in 4 murders told police he killed because he needed money for meth, official says

An illegal immigrant charged with murder in the deaths of four people in Nevada earlier this year told police he committed the killings because he needed money to buy meth, a detective said Thursday.

Wilber Ernesto Martinez-Guzman, a 20-year-old Salvadoran national living in the U.S. illegally, broke into tears and repeatedly called himself an “idiot” before confessing to the murders during an interrogation hours after his arrest in Carson City on Jan. 19, a detective told a grand jury.

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Martinez-Guzman had initially denied being behind the slayings and was smiling and giggling while being interrogated, Washoe County Sheriff’s Detective Stefanie Brady told the grand jury March 13, according to transcripts obtained by the Associated Press. When confronted with several contradictions, however, he then admitted he had “done something that’s unforgivable.”

Brady said he told her that he shot his victims “because of the drugs.”

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. 

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.  (AP Photo/Scott Sonner, File)

“He said he needed the money for the meth and it was the meth,” Brady testified.

She added that Martinez made “lots of eye contact” during the early part of the interrogation and said he was initially fine without having an attorney because he was adamant he did nothing wrong.

When asked about certain items stolen from two of the murder victims, Brady said Martinez-Guzman began to cry.

“He talked about how he was an idiot. He repeated that several times,” Brady said. “He talked about how he had done something that's unforgivable.”

Martinez-Guzman was indicted last week on four counts of murder with the use of a deadly weapon, three counts of burglary while in possession of a firearm and one count each of burglary, burglary while gaining possession of a firearm and possession of a stolen firearm, according to the Associated Press.

Federal officials have said Martinez-Guzman is in the U.S. illegally, but they don’t know when or how he came across the border. Officials said they were seeking the death penalty in the case.

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Martinez-Guzman attorney had no comment after reviewing the transcripts.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.