At the Courthouse: Gripping audio and testimony offered at Forde trial

2011-01-26T08:33:00Z 2011-01-26T08:47:03Z At the Courthouse: Gripping audio and testimony offered at Forde trialBy Kim Smith Arizona Daily Star
January 26, 2011 8:33 am  • 

The first person to testify in the death penalty trial of Shawna Forde was Tanya Remsburg, the woman who handled Gina Gonzalez's 911 call.

Forde is on trial on charges alleging she orchestrated a home invasion that resulted in Gonzalez being shot and Gonzalez's husband, Raul Junior Flores, and daughter, Brisenia, 9, being killed in May 2009.

Remsburg was called to the stand to lay the foundation for the dramatic and seemingly-never-ending call placed shortly after 1 a.m. May 30.

"Somebody just came in and shot my husband and daughter," Gonzalez tells Remsburg.

As she pleads for help and starts to tell Remsburg details of what has happened, she suddenly starts yelling. 

"They're coming back! They're coming back in!"

At least five gunshots are heard before Gonzalez yells out "Get the (expletive) out of here!" and more gunshots ring out. (She later asks if her shooting at the gunman will be "held against her" and Remsburg laughs and tells her it was clearly self-defense.)

When she gets back to the phone, Gonzalez again pleads for Remsburg to hurry.

"They shot my husband and they shot my daughter and they shot me. Oh my God, I can't believe this is happening."

Later, defense attorney Eric Larsen kindly tells Gonzalez that he understands she's just been through a horrific experience, but questions why there are discrepancies between Gonzalez's 911 conversation and her testimony.

For example, she told Remsburg she wasn't paying attention to whether the female home invader was wearing a hat, but now insists she was not.

Gonzalez said she just couldn't understand the significance of Remsburg's questions at the time so wasn't thinking about what she was saying. She said all she was concerned about was getting help.

Also testifying Tuesday was U.S. Border Patrol Agent Don Williams.

Williams and two other BP agents went to Gonzalez's Arivaca home to provide backup for the Pima County Sheriff's Department.

He was the second one in the door and he immediately saw Raul Junior Flores dead on the couch.

"It was pretty obvious he was dead. He was non-responsive and from his expression it was obvious he was gone," Williams said.

He also knew immediately that Brisenia had died from at least one gunshot wound to the head.

When he found Gonzalez bleeding on the kitchen floor he "nudged" her gun away from her with his foot, not knowing exactly who she was.

Larsen is expected to finish questioning Gonzalez today. 

David Winston, a medical examiner, will testify about the autopsies today, too.

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