Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Forde given death in slaying of girl, father

When juror Angie Thomas woke up on the second day of the Shawna Forde capital murder trial, she didn't want to go back to court.

Thomas forced herself to return. And yesterday she talked to the news media about how difficult it was to both convict Forde for the murders of Brisenia Flores, 9, and Raul Junior Flores, 29, and yesterday's jury decision Forde should be executed for what she did.

Thomas said Gina Gonzalez's testimony on the first day of trial had been heartbreaking and the mother of two wasn't sure she could handle anymore.

Still, she returned to court telling herself things couldn't possibly get any worse. She was wrong. That was the day prosecutors showed the autopsy and crime scene photos of the girl and her father.

Nearly a month later Thomas still can't get the images of Brisenia out of her mind - the pictures showing the devastation wrought when a gun is pressed to someone's flesh and fired.

The Floreses died May 30, 2009, after Junior Flores let a couple pretending to be law enforcement officers into his home in Arivaca. Gonzalez testified she and Junior, her husband of 13 years, were shot after he expressed doubts about their identity.

The gunman assured Brisenia he wasn't going to shoot her, but then shot her twice while she pleaded for her life, Gonzalez testified.

Jurors were told Forde, 43, needed money for her border protection group, Minutemen American Defense, and recruited some men to rob drug smugglers near the border. All the invaders got was a handful of inexpensive jewelry that was later found in Forde's possession, prosecutors said.

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