Arizona anti-immigrant vigilante sentenced to death

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

LOS ANGELES - A female anti-immigrant vigilante has been sentenced to death in Arizona for orchestrating a raid on the house of a family of Hispanic-Americans in which a man and his young daughter were murdered.

Shawna Forde, 43, a leader of the Minutemen American Defence group, was sentenced to die by lethal injection, the Arizona Star reported Wednesday.

Forde had been found guilty earlier this month of two counts of murder for the shooting of Raul Flores, 29, and his daughter Brisenia, 9, as well as the attempted murdered of the child’s mother, Gina Gonzales.

Prosecutors told the jury that Forde had planned and organized the vigilante raid on the house in the Arizona border town of Arivaca. Forde had believed the house was being used by drug smugglers and had planned to steal their drugs to raise money for her vigilante organization.

She allegedly recruited two gunmen to pretend to be police officers, but they shot the three victims at point-blank range when they challenged their claim to be police officials. No drugs were found in the house, and all the victims were US citizens, the report said.

The two alleged gunmen will go on trial later this year. Forde is the third woman to be placed on death row in Arizona, but has an automatic right of appeal against her death sentence.

The only woman ever to be executed in Arizona was hanged in 1930 for the 1927 slaying of a rancher, the report said.

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