On the eve of a trial for one of three men accused of luring three other men to a church parking lot in 2021 and then gunning down the trio, killing one and critically injuring two, police have arrested the girlfriend of one of the accused gunmen to ensure she shows up to court.

On March 9, 2021, Alonso Gerardo Garcia-Mendoza, 32, and two of his friends went to a church parking lot at 5305 W. 5400 South believing they would be participating in a drug deal, according to charging documents.

But when they got there, Jonathan Montrail Johnson, Shihab Wesaga, Dalmar Mohamed Abdi, and a boy who was 15 at the time, instead shot the three victims during an apparent robbery attempt, the charges state. Garcia-Mendoza was killed.

The teen suspect allegedly made the plan to meet the victims and rob them and Johnson and Wesaga were the gunmen, according to charging documents. Johnson, Wesaga and Abdi were each charged in 3rd District Court with murder, aggravated robbery, obstructing justice, and four counts of discharge of a firearm, first-degree felonies, as well as other crimes.

A final pre-trial conference for Wesaga, now 20, is scheduled for Friday with a four-day trial scheduled to take place next week.

On Monday, a material witness warrant was issued for Wesaga's girlfriend, 19-year-old Ashely Marie Martinez, who was located and booked into the Salt Lake County Jail on Tuesday. She is being held on $500,000 cash-only bail.

After the shooting, Wesaga turned himself in to police on March 17, 2021, but claimed "he did not know about the shooting and had been at his girlfriend's house in Clinton." When detectives checked Wesaga's phone, however, it "showed his location at the time of the shooting to be at the church in Kearns," according to charging documents.

When questioned by Unified police, Martinez said Wesaga met up with her in Clinton after the shooting and "seemed shaken." She said Wesaga told her that "he was involved in a robbery that had gone badly," the charges state.

Police searched Martinez's home and reported finding clothing that Wesaga was believed to be wearing at the time of the killing.

A material witness warrant may be issued "if it appears from an affidavit filed by a party that a material witness in a pending case will not appear and testify," according to the Utah State Courts website.

"If necessary to secure the testimony of the witness, the magistrate may order that the witness remain in custody for a reasonable period of time so the witness can be examined and cross-examined before the magistrate in the presence of the defendant. The testimony shall be recorded. The witness shall then be released unless further detention is necessary to prevent a failure of justice," the website states.

"A material witness warrant is a tool that can be used when there are safety concerns, or a witness is crucial to a case but has indicated their lack of willingness to participate in a criminal proceeding," the Salt Lake County District Attorney's Office said in a prepared statement while noting it was speaking only in general terms and not specific to a particular case. "This tool is rarely used but is sometimes the only means by which to obtain critical testimony or evidence.

"We take efforts to ensure that victims and witnesses are protected and that the least intrusive and restrictive measures are always pursued first," the district attorney's office said.

A five-day trial for Johnson is scheduled to begin in September. A scheduling conference for Abdi is scheduled for May 5. Information on the status of the 15-year-old's charges was not immediately available.