SEARCH

Entries in Border Vigilante (3)

Tuesday
Feb222011

Border Vigilante Shawna Forde Sentenced to Death for Home Invasion Murders

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(TUCSON, Ariz.) -- Shawna Forde, a border vigilante, was sentenced to death Tuesday for the murders of a nine-year-old Arivaca, Ariz., girl and her father in a home invasion she orchestrated to rob the family.

The jury deliberated only a few hours before coming to the decision, but the one juror who spoke to reporters said the deliberations were difficult.

"We chose death because that's what seems fair," juror Angela Thomas told ABC affiliate KGUN-TV in Tucson.

"While Shawna Forde gets to delight in the picture of her brand-new grandson, there's another person in this equation who never will. There's another person in this equation who'll never get to wear her first pair of high heels or have her first kiss or go to prom or graduation," Thomas said. "There's a little girl in this equation who's father won't be able to walk her down the aisle."

She said the trial, which included graphic, detailed testimony about how Raul "Junior" Flores, 29, and his young daughter were gunned down in their own home while Flores' wife, pretending to be dead, watched, was extremely painful.

Forde, 43, founder of Minutemen American Defense, showed no emotion when the verdict was read, but her attorney, Eric Larsen, said he did not expect the jury to come back with a death sentence.

"No I did not," Larsen told KGUN-TV. "I fully expected that this community valued human life greater then this jury did."

Forde was convicted Feb. 14 of two counts of murder for orchestrating the home invasion. Prosecutors said she planned to rob Flores, who she thought was a drug dealer, to fund her border watch group.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio 

Tuesday
Feb152011

Jury Weighs Death Penalty for Border Vigilante Shawna Forde

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(TUCSON, Ariz.) -- One day after finding border vigilante Shawna Forde guilty of murder in the deaths of a nine-year-old Arizona girl and her father, jurors in the case are now prepared to decide whether she should be put to death.

The Pima County Superior Court jury deliberated for 45 minutes Tuesday on whether to consider the death penalty as an option in the case, a move they unanimously approved. Lawyers from both sides will now present arguments on whether Forde should be executed or spend the rest of her life in prison.

Forde, 43, founded the Minutemen American Defense, a civilian militia group that seeks to combat illegal immigration along the border. She was convicted of orchestrating a violent May 2009 armed robbery of Raul "Junior" Flores, 29, who she thought was a drug dealer, to fund her group.

Prosecutors said Forde and two other men, who face separate criminal trials later this spring, burst into Flores' Arivaca, Ariz., home, shooting and killing Flores and his daughter Bresenia. Flores' wife, Gina Gonzalez, was shot three times but survived by playing dead.

The trial has been closely watched in Arizona and nationwide, both for the brutality of the crime and as an example of anti-immigrant extremism gone awry.

Gonzalez took the stand Tuesday to describe the emotional anguish she's felt since the loss of her daughter and husband, expressing exasperation at why Forde and her alleged accomplices targeted them.

"I don't understand how someone can have that much hate in their heart," Gonzalez said, according to the Arizona Star.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
Feb142011

'Minutemen' Vigilante Shawna Forde Guilty in Deadly Ariz. Home Invasion

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(TUCSON, Ariz.) -- Shawna Forde, a border vigilante, was convicted Monday of two counts of murder for orchestrating a home invasion that left a nine-year-old Arizona girl and her father dead.

Prosecutors said Forde planned the home invasion to rob Raul "Junior" Flores, who she thought was a drug dealer, to fund her border watch group. There were rumors that Flores, 29, had a stash of $4,000 in cash in the house.

Flores and his daughter Bresenia were both killed in the May 2009 attack at their Arivaca, Ariz., home. His wife, Gina Gonzalez, was shot three times but survived by playing dead.

In addition to the first-degree murder charges, Forde, 43, founder of Minutemen American Defense, was found guilty of one count of attempted first-degree murder; one count of burglary in the first-degree; one count of aggravated assault, serious physical injury; one count of aggravated assault, deadly weapon/dangerous instrument; one count of armed robbery and one count of aggravated armed robbery.

The Pima County Superior Court jury came back with a verdict after it deliberated for seven hours over two days.

The sentencing phase of the trial begins Tuesday. Forde could face the death penalty.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio