District Judge Melissa Moody sentenced a Boise man on Monday to life in prison with 30 years fixed after he was convicted of fatally shooting Joshua Warren in an ambush last year.
Joshua Alberts, 40, was convicted in January of second-degree murder for the February 2016 killing. He shot Warren, 31, at least 12 times in the face, neck and torso while Warren was unarmed, emptying his handgun’s entire magazine, according to prosecutors. Warren was reportedly the ex-husband of Alberts’ then-girlfriend.
Alberts was initially set to be sentenced in March, but he attempted suicide by overdosing on prescription drugs just before his sentencing date. Prosecutors said Alberts had been hording the drugs in jail.
Alberts shot Warren when Warren went to the Whispering Pines apartment complex off Ustick Road, where his ex-wife lived, to pick up his two children.
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According to trial testimony, Alberts reportedly waited for Warren, gun in hand, before the attack. Alberts claimed in testimony that his then-girlfriend told him she still had feelings for Warren and wanted to be with him.
Ada County deputy prosecutor Kai Wittwer said the crime was motivated by jealousy, anger, hatred and the defendant’s desire to “give (Warren) what he thought he deserved.”
When Alberts attempted suicide, he left behind two suicide notes in which he wrote that he was committing suicide because he did not want to be painted as a villain by the prosecution and the media, Wittwer said in court.
Wittwer stated that in the suicide note Alberts complained about how “living in prison isn’t living at all” and that Alberts had the “audacity” to blame his girlfriend, calling her a “basketcase that messed with his head.” In the suicide note he expressed concern for his family, but not for the Warren family, Wittwer said.
In a pre-sentence psychological evaluation, the doctor who interviewed Alberts diagnosed him as having an anti-social personality disorder and having narcissistic and psychopathic characteristics, according to Wittwer.
“The defendant was found to have a high level of global psychopathic traits,” Wittwer said.
“He placed beyond the 99th percentile, meaning that less than one in every 100 offenders who completed that evaluation … scored higher than the defendant.”
Wittwer said Alberts was found to have a nonchalant lack of forethought when making mistakes and a lack of empathy and guilt.
Alberts wrote the doctor a letter and endorsed many of the doctor’s concerns, writing that “nobody seems to get that Josh Warren deserved blame too.”
“The defendant is a dangerous man, against whom the people of our community deserve the greatest protection,” Wittwer said.
Defense attorney Eric Rolfsen argued that his client knew that what he did was wrong and noted that Alberts had a minimal criminal record.
“He is not the monster the state is trying to present,” Rolfsen said.
Rolfsen recommended a sentence of 10 or 15 years of indeterminate prison time.
Before sentencing, Alberts apologized to Warren’s family and his own, saying he always tries to protect the ones he loved and had expected this to be a manslaughter conviction.
“What I did that day is beyond regrettable, but it is not representative of who I am,” Alberts told the judge. “I am sorry about this. This is the worst thing I have ever done.”
Moody said before sentencing that she believed Alberts killed Warren in “cold blood” and that he presented a “grave danger to the community when he is not in custody.”