Shawna Forde, Kid-Killing Minutewoman, Sentenced to Death

A Pima County jury decided this morning that Shawna Forde, the kid-killing minutewoman responsible for the deaths of a 9-year-old Arivaca girl and her father in May of 2009, will pay for the murders with her life.

Earlier this month, Forde was convicted of murdering 29-year-old Raul Flores, and his 9-year-old daughter, Bresenia, during a home invasion on May 30, 2009. Today, jurors sentenced her to death, according to the Pima County Attorney's Office.

Following the murders, Forde, a founder of the anti-immigration group Minutemen American Defense Corps., told authorities she planned to take the group to "the next level," which apparently meant leading a raid on the Flores home looking for drugs and money to fund the group.

During the raid, Flores, as well as Bresenia, were shot and killed.

Flores' wife was also shot during the attack, but survived, and ultimately armed herself and chased away Forde and her accomplices in a shootout that left one of the attackers, Forde's co-defendant in the shooting, Jason Eugene Bush, wounded.

Originally from Everett, Washington, Forde came to Arizona in early 2009, after a string of violent incidents in her home town, including a near fatal attack on her ex husband.

During the sentencing hearing, Forde's attorney, Jill Thorpe, reportedly told the sob story that is Shawna Forde's life, and asked jurors to spare her life.

From the Arizona Daily Star:

Defense attorney Jill Thorpe asked jurors to spare Ford's life, saying she was a "broken person" who suffered repeated acts of sexual and physical abuse and abandonment as a child.

The abuse and a subsequent stroke resulted in brain damage that left Forde vulnerable to manipulation, Thorpe said. She was unable to assess people or change course, she said.

Forde's childhood also caused her to develop a narcissistic personality that led her to make to outlandish claims and an inability to accept responsibility for her involvement in the Floreses' deaths, Thorpe said.

Forde recently told a reporter her group had 18,000 members when the group probably had, at most, 10 members, Thorpe said.

The jurors, apparently, were not sympathetic, and Forde will now join two other woman on death row as she awaits her date with the needle.

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James King
Contact: James King