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February 23, 2011

Border vigilante who engineered double murder sentenced to death in Arizona

As detailed in this CNN article, which is headlined "Jury decides on death penalty for woman who headed vigilante squad," a high-profile murder trial culminated in a high-profile death sentence yesterday in Arizona.  Here are the details:

Arizona jurors decided an anti-illegal immigration activist -- portrayed as the ringleader of a hit squad -- should receive the death penalty for the killings of a Latino man and his 9-year-old daughter, a court spokeswoman said Tuesday.  The Pima County jury's decision, which was unanimous, is binding....

Forde showed no emotion as the verdict was read, according to CNN Tucson affiliate KGUN.  Her attorney, Eric Larsen, said he "fully expected that this community valued human life greater than this jury did."

Juror Angela Thomas told KGUN, "We chose death because that's what seems fair. There's a little girl in this equation whose father won't be able to walk her down the aisle," she said.  Forde was convicted February 14 on eight counts, including two counts of murder for the shooting deaths of Raul Flores and his daughter, Brisenia, and the attempted murder of the child's mother, Gina Gonzales.

The vigilante attacks were in May 2009.  The child and her father were American-born U.S. citizens but were targeted by Forde and her hit squad. Her alleged accomplices, Albert Robert Gaxiola and Jason Eugene Bush, are scheduled to go on trial later this year.

During the trial, prosecutors portrayed Forde as the ringleader, saying she had planned the raid and the murders to steal weapons, money and drugs to finance a new anti-illegal immigration outfit.  The trio picked the Flores home, prosecutors said, because Gaxiola claimed they would find drugs there.  While Flores had a history of drug-related offenses, no drugs were found in the house.

Gina Gonzalez gave a victim impact statement last week. "I miss my husband, I miss my daughter, I miss my family, I miss my life ... and that's all because of a choice she made," Gonzales said of Forde, according to CNN Tucson affiliate KVOA.

The defense told the jury that Forde has a personality disorder caused by a childhood of abuse, abandonment and living in seven different households by the age of 5, according to KVOA.

February 23, 2011 at 10:58 AM | Permalink

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"I miss my husband, I miss my daughter, I miss my family, I miss my life

Posted by: thomas sabo sale | Nov 10, 2011 1:20:03 AM

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