Crime

At hearing for suspect in Boise killing, judge tells victim’s family no ‘RIP’ shirts

Mom remembers her daughter, killed in a shooting.

"She had a way of just brightening up the room," says Toni Dunn, describing her daughter, 19-year-old Brianna Martinez.
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"She had a way of just brightening up the room," says Toni Dunn, describing her daughter, 19-year-old Brianna Martinez.

The man accused of fatally shooting a 19-year-old woman on the Boise Bench in April appeared in court Thursday and pleaded not guilty.

Anthony Alcala, 20, of Meridian, is being held at the Ada County Jail on a $1 million bond on suspicion of second-degree murder in the death of Briana Martinez. He is also charged with two counts of aggravated battery and an enhancement for use of a deadly weapon, for allegedly shooting Natalie Martinez and Sonny Heidenreich. Briana and Natalie Martinez were sisters.

District Judge Samuel Hoagland accepted Alcala’s plea and set trial for Feb. 24, 2020.

Ada County deputy prosecutor Jeff White addressed the judge’s recent order to maintain decorum during Alcala’s hearings. Briana Martinez’s family had worn T-shirts at previous hearings that read “RIP Briana Martinez,” with a photo of her on them. The judge recently ordered that the shirts were distracting and conflicted with court decorum, and he would not allow them in court. White argued that the family never intended to wear them during a trial, just at the hearings, and that they should be entitled to wear them in memory of the victim.

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The family of Briana Martinez is upset that a judge won’t allow them to wear this and other T shirts at court hearings for Anthony Alcala, who is accused of shooting Martinez to death. Submitted photo

Briana Martinez T shirt 1.jpg
Submitted photo

“I do not want to see any emotional outbursts and I do believe shirts of this nature could inspire or induce problems,” Hoagland said in court.

White objected, saying the shirts were not disruptive and the victims had a right to be present and a constitutional right to free speech.

Hoagland countered, saying the victims do have a right to be present at all proceedings, but they do not have the right to disrupt court, and the court has discretion in stopping actions that could be disruptive.

“For the safety and security of this court,” Hoagland said he would not allow the shirts to be worn.

Two Boise women, Taja Ra McMurtrey-Winn, 22, and Jessica Lee Perez, 18, have been charged with felony accessory to murder in the case. Court documents allege that McMurtrey-Winn and Perez helped hide Alcala from authorities while knowing he had committed a felony.

Perez and McMurtrey-Winn both pleaded not guilty on Thursday. Both remain in custody with bond set at $250,000 each.

Briana Martinez T shirt 4.jpg
The family of Briana Martinez is upset that a judge won’t allow them to wear this and other T shirts at court hearings for Anthony Alcala, who is accused of shooting Martinez to death. Submitted photo

Briana Martinez T-shirt 3.jpeg
Submitted photo

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Reporter Ruth Brown covers the criminal justice and correctional systems in Idaho. She focuses on breaking news, public safety and social justice. Prior to coming to the Idaho Statesman, she was a reporter at the Idaho Press-Tribune, the Bakersfield Californian and the Idaho Falls Post Register.
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