Shawna Forde, a rogue ex-minuteman border activist from Everett, Washington was convicted of first degree murder for the double homicide of a suspected Mexican drug dealer, Raul Flores and his 9-year old daughter, Brisenia Flores and today the jury sentenced her to death.
It only took the jury four hours of deliberation before concluding Forde could have stopped the murders and should pay the ultimate price for her role in the heinous crime. Currently, Arizona has only two women on death row.
During the week-long penalty phase of the trial, Forde’s defense attorney Jill Thorpe pleaded to jurors to spare her life. Thorpe said Forde was a “broken person” who suffered years of abuse.
However once the jury heard a taped conversation between Forde and an FBI informant after the murders, the jury concluded Forde knew exactly what she was doing and showed no remorse.
According to the Arizona Daily Star, “Forde brags about both cops and drug smugglers not liking her. She tells the informant, ‘I'm the one person they know is willing to take it to the next level and that scares a lot of people.’”
Once the penalty was determined, Minutemen organizations were quick to respond to the former-Minuteman turned murderer.
“Although Shawna Forde was not a Minuteman and had been kicked out of the national Minuteman group more than 2 years before the murders, the border security movement in America is very pleased that Forde will be paying for her deplorable crimes, including the cold-blooded murder of an innocent 9-year old girl,” said Jeff Schwilk founder of the San Diego Minutemen. “The Minutemen condemn all violence on both sides of the border. True border security and enforcement of our laws is the only answer to stopping the Mexican drug killings that has infested our border region.”
The murders took place in May 2009 in the small border town of Arivaca, Arizona. The jury learned Forde had formed a criminal gang a few weeks earlier made up of several other criminals, radicals and local drug dealers to plan and execute a series of robberies of known-drug traffickers on the U.S. side of the border.
Forde and her two accomplices were arrested within two weeks of the murders. Jason Bush and Albert Gaxiola are expected to begin their murder trials in March and June respectively. Both are eligible for the death penalty and neither of these men had any Minuteman involvement.
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© Copyright 2011 Kimberly Dvorak All Rights Reserved.
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