Court upholds murder conviction of ex-border activist Shawna Forde

2014-01-17T12:00:00Z 2014-01-17T19:32:22Z Court upholds murder conviction of ex-border activist Shawna FordeBy Patrick McNamara Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

The Arizona Supreme Court upheld the conviction of a former border activist sentenced to death for killing a man and his 9-year-old daughter during a 2009 home invasion in Southern Arizona.

Shawna Forde was convicted in 2011 of first-degree murder in the shooting deaths of 29-year-old Raul Junior Flores and Brisenia Flores.

Forde also received  prison terms on other convictions, including one for the attempted first-degree murder of Flores’ wife.

Forde’s attorneys argued to the Supreme Court that her death sentence was disproportional because another man tried separately in the murders received a life sentence.

Albert Gaxiola was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. His trial did not begin until after Forde was convicted.

Jason Bush also was sentenced to death for his role in the crimes.

Forde also made numerous constitutional claims in the appeal.

The only change the court made was to make her sentences for armed robbery and aggravated robbery concurrent. She had been sentenced to consecutive sentences.

Forde is one of two women on Arizona’s death row.

Authorities said Forde had planned the invasion and robbery of a home in Arivaca that she believed contained drugs, weapons and money.

Prosecutors said she intended to use the proceeds from the home invasion to fund a border-watch group.

Contact reporter Patrick McNamara at 573-4241 or pmcnamara@azstarnet.com. On Twitter @pm929.

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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