As murder victim's family, friends mourn, man admits he helped hide body in Foothills

Francis March, left, and Anthony Barclay
Francis March, left, and Anthony Barclay

Anthony Barclay told a judge Friday that he “relocated” Mark Irwin’s body last summer, sought to conceal the murder and “threw away stuff that was evidence.”

Barclay, 20, pleaded guilty to three related felonies at the same hearing. But he is not accused of actually killing Irwin. The woman who is, 45-year-old Francis March, is scheduled for trial in October on first-degree murder and other charges.

Friday’s hearing came more than 9 months after Irwin’s body was found in his Toyota van under a pile of garbage and household items.

Barclay and March, who were arrested Aug. 25 after reportedly pawning numerous items belonging to Irwin, were reportedly “boyfriend and girlfriend,” Ada County Deputy Prosecutor Brent Ferguson told the Statesman.

Irwin’s body was found the day after their arrest, high in the Foothills just across the Boise County line along Rocky Canyon Road. Prosecutors say he had been drugged, suffocated with a plastic bag, hogtied and strapped to a plastic slide. The body was wrapped in a tarp and covered with the numerous “household items and garbage items” in the back of Irwin’s van, a prosecutor said at an October hearing for March.

Irwin, 61, was a longtime Boise resident and film projectionist who worked at numerous international film festivals, friends said. Prosecutors said earlier that March was a friend of Irwin’s who apparently lived at or outside Irwin’s home on Boise’s Gage Street.

At Friday’s hearing, Barclay admitted illegally entering that home after Irwin’s death, telling the judge that he “aided and abetted the theft of someone’s property.” That someone was Irwin, Ferguson said after the hearing, and the person with Barclay was March. March is also suspected of helping move Irwin’s van and body to the Foothills.

Barclay entered guilty pleas to failure to notify authorities of a death, destruction of evidence and burglary. Other burglary and grand theft charges against Barclay in connection with Irwin’s property were dropped as part a plea deal. The deal does not outline a recommended sentence.

The deal also does not require Barclay to testify against March, Ferguson said, noting that prosecutors are keeping the cases separate.

Barclay is scheduled for sentencing Aug. 24. He could face as much as 10 years in prison for the burglary and failure to notify charges, and five years for the destruction of evidence charge.