The popular war on immigrants may have turned to murder last May, if the police's case against Minuteman leader Shawna Forde in an Arizona double murder trial going on now holds up. Details on the hideous case from the British Daily Mail [link goes to proper place now]:
A nine-year-old girl begged for her life before being shot dead along with her father by an anti-immigrant vigilante group, a court heard.
Brisenia Flores was gunned down at point-blank range in her own home in Flores, Arizona, as her terrified mother Gina Gonzalez, who had also been hit, played dead on the floor.
She sobbed as the court was told how she had heard Brisenia's desperate pleas as her killer stood over her.
'I can hear it happening,' Mrs Flores told the court describing how her daughter said: 'Why did you shoot my dad? Why did you shoot my mum?'….
The prosecution alleges that the child and her father Raul Flores Jr were murdered in May 30, 2009 by a group of vigilantes set up to tackle Mexican immigrants…..
Shawna Forde, the head of the Minutemen American Defence group, is on trial accused of two charges of first degree murder.
She is allegedly orchestrated the attack on the Flores family with two male accomplices, due to face face court in.March.
Police claim that Forde believed Mr Flores was a drug trafficker and would have cash and goods in the house which they could use to fund their patrols.
She reportedly led the raid and gave instructions to the male accomplices.
The murdered father thought the woman and man who invaded were cops at the door; other accounts say that the woman identified herself as such and claimed the family was harboring a fugitive. During the murders, the surviving mother was able to shoot back at one of the killers. According to the Mail:
Forde was arrested shortly after the shooting. She had Mrs Gonzalez's wedding ring and other jewellery, according to police…..Forde's lawyer Eric Larsen told the court that she was not at the house and that much of the evidence was circumstantial
An L.A. Times account has more on the background, though neither story really explains the circumstances under which Forde was arrested. (This story from Gather.com says that when the wounded man, Jason Bush, was arrested, he implicated Forde):
Prosecutors say that in April 2009, Forde told two members of the movement in Denver that she had linked up with drug dealers in the tiny town of Arivaca, Ariz., just north of the Mexican border and about 50 miles southwest of Tucson. She proposed helping the dealers raid a rival's house, which would be full of drug profits she could steal, prosecutors allege.
The plan so alarmed the members, prosecutors say, that they contacted the FBI. But Larson said it was such an obviously outlandish idea that the FBI did nothing with it…..
Gonzalez testified that the woman in the house looked like Forde, but she said she couldn't definitively say it was her "because I don't know her personally." She failed to identify Forde in a police lineup after the shooting.
Forde had Gonzalez's wedding ring and jewelry with her when she was arrested days after the shooting, authorities say. Shortly after her arrest, members of the Minutemen movement disavowed her, saying they did not trust her and that she had stayed on its fringes.
A history of Forde's shady past from her old hometown of Everett, Washington, including being a suspect in the shooting of her ex-husband and perhaps a faked beating and rape claim on herself. A Forde friend booted from the courtroom for showing up in disguise; the judge doesn't want her there until she's called as a witness.
Past Reason writings on Arizona Minutemen.