For Immediate Release
Contact: Michelle Bays
775.321.4307 (o); 775.771.6049 (c)
The Washoe County District Attorney’s Office has secured a guilty verdict in a 2017 murder prosecution. Richard Abdiel Silva, 29, from Sparks, was found guilty late last Friday of 1st Degree Murder with the Use of a Deadly Weapon in Washoe County District Court after a weeklong jury trial. He was subsequently sentenced yesterday to Life with the Possibility of Parole after a minimum of 20 years by the same jury that found him guilty, which is the defendant’s right in accordance with Nevada law when convicted on a 1st degree murder charge. Silva will also be sentenced by the trial judge, the Honorable David Hardy, on a deadly weapon enhancement. That sentencing is set for May 6, 2020 in Department 15 of District Court and carries an additional penalty of up to 20 years in prison.
The case against Silva began on November 2, 2017 when the Reno Police Department (RPD) responded to a report of shots fired in the area of Parkview Street and Mazzone Avenue. When RPD patrol officers arrived on scene they located a red Dodge Charger, which had apparently crashed into the North side of an apartment building. As the officers approached the vehicle, they noted six bullet-strikes on the driver’s side of the vehicle. Once they drew closer to the vehicle, they saw a female in the driver seat with obvious gunshot wounds to her head and face. The officers immediately secured the scene and called in emergency medical personnel who pronounced the victim dead. RPD Robbery Homicide Unit (RHU) detectives responded and began an investigation. Based on their investigation, they identified the female victim as 26-year-old Luz Graciela Linarez-Castillo from Sparks. They also identified Silva as the primary suspect and determined that he had shot the victim due to a family dispute. Silva, who was the victim’s brother-in-law, recruited his nephew, Yiovannie Guzman, 20, in a plot to kill Linarez-Castillo. RHU detectives were able to link both men to the scene of the shooting through eyewitness descriptions, video surveillance footage and DNA evidence collected at the scene. The weapon was never located, but evidence presented by prosecutors at trial showed that Silva had taken steps to get rid of the gun. Detectives further determined that Silva had been the one to shoot the victim while Guzman drove him to and from the scene. Guzman ultimately pled guilty to one count of Conspiracy to Commit Murder and one Count of Battery with Use of a Deadly Weapon. He is scheduled to be sentenced on April 22, 2020 in Department 15 and faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.
At trial, Chief Deputy District Attorney Matt Lee presented evidence of the conspiracy to kill Linarez-Castillo, including text messages, cellular tower data, information obtained by Silva from government computers through his work at the DMV, and video surveillance. Linarez-Castillo had three young children and was also 6-8 weeks pregnant at the time of her murder.