Opening statements and vivid testimony in Shawna Forde trial - Tucson News Now

Opening statements and vivid testimony in Shawna Forde trial

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By Barbara Grijalva - email

Tucson, AZ (KOLD) - Trial is underway for a border militia activist accused in the killing of a man and his 9- year-old daughter in a home invasion.

Shawna Forde is charged with two counts of first degree murder and other charges.

Two other suspects, Jason Bush and Albert Gaxiola, will have separate trials.  

Prosecutors say all three suspects burst into an Arivaca home in May of 2009 and killed 29-year old Raul Flores and his daughter Brisenia.

The girl's mother was also shot,  but she survived.

It was incredibly vivid testimony Tuesday from the mother, Gina Gonzalez.

She testified about people posing as law enforcement officers coming into her home and shooting and killing her husband, Raul "Junior" Flores, shooting and wounding her, then turning the gun on their 9-year old daughter Brisenia.

"He's all out of bullets by then because he's used them on me and Junior. So he stands there and he loads the gun right in front of her (Brisenia)," Gonzalez says.

Prosecutor Kellie Johnson asks, "And is this something you can see happening?"

Gonzalez answers, "I can hear it happening.  I can hear her telling him to 'please don't shoot me.'"      

The child is shot and killed.

Earlier on Tuesday, in court, the prosecution and the defense presented their opening statements.

Defense attorney Eric Larsen said, "Essentially this case is a donut--a lot of circumstantial evidence all around, but there is a hole and that hold is Shawna Forde not being in that home on May 30th."

Prosecutor Kellie Johnson said, "Not only will the state prove to you that Shawna Forde was in that house that night, barking orders and telling people what to do, the state will prove that Shawna Forde organized and planned this offense, with other folks."

If Forde is convicted of murder, she could face the death penalty.

The trial is expected to last at least four weeks.

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