Debra Bissell is one of President Donald Trump’s guests to the State of the Union. Bissell is the daughter of Gerald and Sharon David, who police say were killed by an undocumented immigrant in Reno, Nevada. Bissell will be joined by daughter Heather Armstrong and granddaughter Madison Armstrong, the White House said.
Bissell, Madison, and Heather will be in attendance to represent three generations of the David family.
Gerald and Sharon David were killed in their Reno home by 19-year-old Wilber Martinez-Guzman, police say.
Martinez-Guzman entered the United States illegally, according to Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Martinez-Guzman was also charged with killing Sophia Renken and Connie Koontz.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Debra Bissell Will Be One of Trump’s State of the Union Guests
Bissell will be joined by her daughter Heather Armstrong and her granddaughter Madison Armstrong at Trump’s State of the Union Address, The White House said.
“Gerald and Sharon David of Reno, Nevada, were tragically murdered in their home in Nevada by an illegal immigrant in January 2019. The terrible loss has devastated both their community and three generations of their family who will be represented at the State of the Union: the Davids’ daughter Debra, granddaughter Heather, and great-granddaughter Madison,” The White House said in a release.
Other guests include Matthew Charles, a prisoner who mentored fellow inmates and was the first to be released under the First Step Act, Grace Eline, a 9-year-old cancer survivor, Ashley Evans, a former opioid addict, Elvin Hernandez, a Special Agent with the Trafficking in Persons Unit of the Department of Homeland Security’s Homeland Security Investigations division, Roy James, a plant manager for a lumber company, Timothy Matson, a Pittsburgh SWAT team member who was shot while responding to last year’s shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue, Judah Samet, a member of the Tree of Life Synagogue, Tom Wibberley, the father of a Seaman killed on the USS Cole, Alice Johnson, a woman granted clemency by Trump, and Joshua Trump, a boy who was bullied because of his name.
2. Bissell’s Parents, Gerald and Sharon David, Were Killed by an Undocumented Immigrant, Police Say
Gerald David, 81, and Sharon David, 80, were found dead in their home in South Reno from gunshot wounds on January 16.
Police say they received a tip that 19-year-old Wilber Martinez-Guzman was involved in the killings and were able to track him down and detain him for being in the country illegally while they continued to investigate the murders.
Police say Guzman was the only suspect in the murders, which they linked to robberies.
According to ICE, Wilber Martinez-Guzman entered the United States illegally from El Salvador.
3. Wilber Martinez-Guzman Was Charged With 4 Murders
On January 29, Martinez-Guzman was charged with murdering the Davids, as well as 56-year-old Connie Kuntz and 74-year-old Sophia Renken, who were both found dead in their homes between January 10 and January 13.
Police say Martinez-Guzman admitted to killing the Davids using a gun he stole from their home, CNN reported.
Along with four counts of murder, he is also charged with use of a deadly weapon and more than 30 counts of burglary and possession of stolen property.
4. Trump Tweeted About the Murder Last Month
President Trump tweeted about the murders in January as part of his push to get funding for his proposed border wall.
“Four people in Nevada viciously robbed and killed by an illegal immigrant who should not have been in our Country,” Trump wrote. “26 people killed on the Border in a drug and gang related fight. Two large Caravans from Honduras broke into Mexico and are headed our way. We need a powerful Wall!”
Martinez-Guzman had been in the United States for at least a year doing odd jobs and construction, CNN reported.
He had no prior criminal record.
He has family in Carson City. His family is said to be cooperating with the investigation.
5. Trump Is Expected to Make Border Security Key Issue in SOTU
Trump is expected to make the case for his proposed border wall once again during his speech after a 35-day shutdown failed to produce any of the $5.7 billion in funding he demanded for the wall.
The New York Times reported that Trump will stop short of declaring a state of emergency to divert funding for military and infrastructure projects to fund parts of the wall. Republicans, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, have tried to talk Trump out of declaring a national emergency over concerns that as many as 10 Republican Senators may defect to vote to block his declaration.
Congressional negotiations on the wall have been ongoing but have apparently failed to produce any new funding for the proposed wall. Trump called the negotiations a “waste of time” in an interview with The Times.
“If [House Speaker Nancy Pelosi] doesn’t approve the wall, the rest of it’s just a waste of money and time and energy because it’s desperately needed,” he said.
Critics say that Trump’s proposed border wall is impractical, illegal drugs are almost entirely brought through legal ports of entry and not through illegal border crossings, immigrants — including illegal immigrants — have been shown to commit fewer crimes than native-born citizens, and the number of border apprehensions have fallen from 220,000 per month in 2000 to under 40,000 per month in 2018.