At the Courthouse: Fourth suspect in Arivaca case identified?

2011-01-07T15:40:00Z 2011-01-07T16:34:21Z At the Courthouse: Fourth suspect in Arivaca case identified?By Kim Smith Arizona Daily Star
January 07, 2011 3:40 pm  • 

Earlier this week Gina Gonzalez testified that while she was pretending to be dead, the tall man who shot her stood over her prone body while three other people ransacked her home.

As we all know, only three people were indicted in the case though: Shawna Forde, Jason Bush and Albert Gaxiola.

Prosecutors have always maintained that Bush was the tall man who shot Gonzalez and killed her husband and daughter. They've also said that Gonzalez shot him in the leg in self-defense and that Forde texted Gaxiola to tell him that "Red" aka Bush had been shot.

Forde told friends prior to her arrest that Bush was shot while on a border mission.

At 3 p.m. Thursday, Forde's defense attorneys received additional FBI reports they found shocking. In them, it was revealed there is information floating around that a man named Leland "Red" Sprout was involved in the Arivaca homicides.

Eric Larsen asked Judge John Leonardo to delay the start of next week's trial so he could have time to investigate Sprout.

Larsen told Judge Leonardo he could argue Sprout orchestrated the home invasion/slayings with a whole other group, which didn't include Forde and Bush. 

Afterall, there could be several alternate explanations for why Bush's DNA was found at Gonzalez's house, Larsen said. It doesn't have to mean he was shot and bled there.

Judge Leonardo denied the motion, saying Larsen's theory was too speculative. He noted it was just as likely that Bush and Sprout were both involved.

Over the next few days, attempts are going to be made to contact an FBI informant who supposedly knows someone who heard from Sprout himself about his involvement.

Authorities want to get that someone's name so they can interview him.

The FBI informant is the same one who claimed at one time that Forde recruited him for the home invasion and he tried to warn the FBI in advance about the upcoming invasion.

By the way, the attorneys on the case have cut the number of prospective jurors from 225 to 103. Those who remain will be questioned in person on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Openings statements could be held as early as Thursday afternoon.

TruTV (formerly known as CourtTV) has asked for permission to film the trial, but it's unknown if they will actually show up.

 

 

 

 

 

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