Shawna Forde, a rogue ex-minuteman border activist from Everett, Washington was convicted of first degree murder for the double homicide of a suspected Mexican drug dealer, Raul Flores and his 9-year old daughter, Brisenia Flores and today the jury sentenced her to death.
It only took the jury four hours of deliberation before concluding Forde could have stopped the murders and should pay the ultimate price for her role in the heinous crime. Currently, Arizona has only two women on death row.
During the week-long penalty phase of the trial, Forde’s defense attorney Jill Thorpe pleaded to jurors to spare her life. Thorpe said Forde was a “broken person” who suffered years of abuse.
However once the jury heard a taped conversation between Forde and an FBI informant after the murders, the jury concluded Forde knew exactly what she was doing and showed no remorse.
According to the Arizona Daily Star, “Forde brags about both cops and drug smugglers not liking her. She tells the informant, ‘I’m the one person they know is willing to take it to the next level and that scares a lot of people.’”
Once the penalty was determined, Minutemen organizations were quick to respond to the former-Minuteman turned murderer.
“Although Shawna Forde was not a Minuteman and had been kicked out of the national Minuteman group more than 2 years before the murders, the border security movement in America is very pleased that Forde will be paying for her deplorable crimes, including the cold-blooded murder of an innocent 9-year old girl,” said Jeff Schwilk founder of the San Diego Minutemen. “The Minutemen condemn all violence on both sides of the border. True border security and enforcement of our laws is the only answer to stopping the Mexican drug killings that has infested our border region.”
The murders took place in May 2009 in the small border town of Arivaca, Arizona. The jury learned Forde had formed a criminal gang a few weeks earlier made up of several other criminals, radicals and local drug dealers to plan and execute a series of robberies of known-drug traffickers on the U.S. side of the border.
Forde and her two accomplices were arrested within two weeks of the murders. Jason Bush and Albert Gaxiola are expected to begin their murder trials in March and June respectively. Both are eligible for the death penalty and neither of these men had any Minuteman involvement.
© Copyright 2011 Kimberly Dvorak All Rights Reserved.
Continue reading on Examiner.com: Ex-Minuteman Shawa Forde gets the death penalty for Arizona double murder – San Diego County Political Buzz | Examiner.com http://www.examiner.com/county-political-buzz-in-san-diego/ex-minuteman-shawa-forde-gets-the-death-penalty-for-two-arizona-murders#ixzz1Ej0S2hmN
Controversial nut-job minister, Fred Phelps from Westboro Baptist Church in Kansas told anyone who would listen to his disturbing rant on YouTube that “the shooter was sent by God.” These Westboro Church leaders are equally as guilty as the “shooter” who took his anger out on innocent folks gathering to meet their Congresswoman last Saturday.
The facts first, Jared Loughner was a lone shooter operating on a limited mental capacity who killed six and injured 11 others. His killing swathe included a federal judge, clergy member, Republican, Democrat and a nine-year-old child.
A motive for the killing still has not been established, leading one to believe his psychological mind-set was teetering between the “real world” and his “made-up world fantasies.”
Not surprisingly the media has jumped into full-spin mode and have blamed Republicans and Democrats- neither are at fault, but that doesn’t sell newspapers.
Of course the mainstream media wanted to pin it on the military. The first two days after the massacre media speculation tagged Loughner as an Afghanistan War Veteran gone awry. That announcement proved false once the Army released a statement saying he applied three years ago and was turned away when he failed a drug test.
Ironically the doctor that is credited for saving Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) life is an Afghan/Iraq War Veteran.
“There’s no doubt that I was in the Navy 24 years, and I trained to do nothing but battlefield casualty care,” says Dr. Peter Rhee. “When I did go to Afghanistan and Iraq, I wasn’t in a hospital. I was in very forward surgical units, so I was very accustomed to working with very little gear and people and personnel, very little resources, with wounds that are very different than civilian injuries,” Rhee explained. “Did it prepare me? I would say of course it did. And that makes it so that when we have a mass casualty of 11 people here, it’s really not as bad as it can get.”
Dr. Rhee began his battleground career in 2001 and treated “hundreds and hundreds” when he was deployed to Camp Rhino in Afghanistan. He later returned to the war zone in 2005, serving in Iraq.
“This (multiple shooting) doesn’t compare,” Rhee said. “This is not really a mass casualty. I have all the gear and people I could possibly want. This is luxury for me. This trauma center, this is about as good as it gets.”
Dr. Rhee said today that he was given the full services of the military, and the doctor took advantage of the offer by flying in two other Middle East War Veterans.
Rhee referred to the military trauma and neurological doctors as “world famous people…their Iraq War experience with penetrating trauma,” help saved Giffords’ life.
However, the two military doctors told reporters that it was Dr. Rhee who saved the Congresswoman’s life.
There are many heroes in the sunny Saturday morning massacre in Tucson, Arizona. An elderly husband covered his wife, shielding her while he perished. A 20-year-old congressional intern held his boss’s head upright and kept pressure on her wounds until EMS arrived. After Giffords was taken away he turned to help others at the chaotic scene.
There were two bystanders who ran into the gunfire and tackled the deranged shooter preventing him from reloading his weapon and killing more innocent people. Each day the story unfolds, more ordinary heroes come to light.
Looking back at the horrific day the parents of the youngest victim, Christina Green called for justice, not Republican or Democrat, just justice.
“It would be a waste of millions of dollars” to do anything other than take the killer’s life, Green’s father said in a Washington Post story. “They should use the money to help kids in school instead of some idiot.”
This “idiot” should be the focus of the rampage- at 22 he was unable to have any lifelong political leanings and his words on the Internet prove he was incapable of making any coherent statements. Instead his words are random thoughts of delusion and this delusion sent him to the Safeway parking lot.
“She (Christina) was at the wrong place at the wrong time,” Green said. “I’m very angry that someone would choose that venue to take out their anger. It is a cowardly way to handle their grievances.”
The tragedy in Tucson needs time to heal, if the mainstream media doesn’t stop perpetuating their suppositions, the country will likely see another senseless rampage.
© Copyright 2011 Kimberly Dvorak All Rights Reserved.
Continue reading on Examiner.com: “The shooter was sent by God” says Westboro minister- rhetoric continues – San Diego County Political Buzz | Examiner.com http://www.examiner.com/county-political-buzz-in-san-diego/the-shooter-was-sent-by-god-says-westboro-minister-rhetoric-continues#ixzz1AkvxBt7r
Nearly 30,000 people have been brutally murdered since Mexican President Felipe Calderon declared war on the drug cartels in 2007. This number is greater than the loss of military life in both the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
So far President Calderon has deployed more than 45,000 troops and 5,000 federal police officers to Mexico’s 18 states where the drug cartels are known to operate. The thrust of the cartel violence often pits low-income peasants against one another in order to give drug lords access to the best smuggling routes into America.
Many leaders in Mexico accuse the U.S. of doing nothing to stop America’s growing drug addiction and experts have pointed to the fact that 80 percent of the world’s drug consumption is inside the land of the free and home of the brave.
Mexican authorities also contend that once the drugs are sold throughout America, the money and weapons flow south -continuing the perpetual cycle of drug cartel violence- leaving a Mexican citizenry to pick up the pieces with little to no end in sight.
As a result of the escalating violence, the U.S. Consulate General in Matamoros (a city that borders Brownsville, Texas) issued a warning to U.S. citizens living in Tamaulipas. The warning came after a week of intensified warring between cartels that continues to become more brazen in the metropolitan area along the U.S./Mexico border.
The Consular office told U.S. citizens that there were some changes in personnel security policies issued by the U.S. government in Matamoros and Americans are urged to follow the new state guidelines.
U.S. government officials said that due to the constant violence reported in Matamoros and the consular district, the security office of the Consulate General has restricted personal travel outside of residential areas between midnight and 6:00 am for all U.S. personnel and their families.
In addition to recommending Americans travel only during the day, Consulate officials told Americans to have alternate escape routes planned and that they should be prepared to take evasive action at any time while traveling in Mexico.
“U.S. citizens in the consular district of Matamoros should consider adopting such restrictions by themselves to travel and in any case must remain alert and aware of your surroundings at all times,” the Consular said.
Over the weekend another drug cartel kingpin was killed along with 20 others in a gun battle that raged for hours, while the death is a notch in President Calderon’s drug-war belt, it is little comfort to those who reside in Mexico.
It’s been the case in the past few years that once a major cartel leader is killed more violence ensues as rival gangs fight for routes and cartel hierarchy scrambles to gain control of their organization.
Many in Mexico hoped America’s new President, Barrack Obama, would provide change in the way the U.S. dealt with its drug addiction, but unfortunately it’s been business as usual on both sides of the drug-war border.
John Gardner was convicted and sentenced for the murder and rape of two San Diego teenagers as well as the attempted rape of a college jogger. Gardner received two life sentences with out the possibility of parole for the murders and another 25 years for the attempted rape of the jogger- all to be served concurrently.
While the details of Gardner’s life may be certain, the healing process is just beginning for the families who lost their daughters in a brutal and senseless manner.
From the onset it was clear Gardner was agitated and knew the wrath of words he would have to listen to as each parent approached the podium and expressed what anger they felt for someone who wasn’t of this life.
The biggest reaction Gardner displayed came from hearing Amber’s mom Carrie McGonigle, he literally broke down and crocodile tears streamed down his face. McGonigle expressed distain for Gardner’s actions, but ended with “I forgive you, but I will never forget that you stole my daughter from me.”
During the hour-long proceeding, two videos were played showing Amber and Chelsea in much happier times, Gardner never looked up. It appeared to attendees that if he watched it would mean he was capable of savagely murdering two young girls.
The female jogger, Candice Moncayo, who was attacked in December and threw her elbow to Gardner’s face giving her enough time to run away also spoke about the fact he stole her “safety and solitude of her runs.” She left the podium with a fitting question; “ how’s your nose?”
The King family had the harshest words for Gardner and his mother, who failed to register her son’s address and did nothing to contact authorities in the past 14 months.
Chelsea’s father, Brent, used words like “zest for life, extremely smart and self-assured,” to describe his 17-year-old daughter. He talked about the college letters that have been arriving in the mail for Chelsea and she would never attend. He explained that he never knew he had this kind of rage inside him for another human being.
On the other hand Chelsea’s mom, Kelly, demanded Gardner to look at her while she spoke. “You have taken a life worth an infinite amount of yours.” She told Gardner that he “plundered” from their family and was responsible for “dismantling’ their family life.
Again Kelly repeated; “look at me!” She then said she was not surprised by Gardner’s lack of eye contact. And she too blamed Gardner’s mother for not doing enough to protect the world from her monster of a son.
Amber Dubois’s father, Moe, told the court his daughter was raped and killed by a registered sex offender and he blamed the legal system for letting the murderer roam the streets of Escondido after his parole expired.
According to a victim-impact statement Dubois, says Gardner served a six-year prison sentence for sexually assaulting a 13-year-old girl in 2000, but was off parole and roaming freely when he raped and murdered Amber.
Dubois pointed out that once Gardner was off parole, his GPS device was removed and was “once again this predator was allowed to stalk our streets,”
“Less than five months later, John Gardner forcefully abducted, brutally beat, physically raped and then finally heartlessly murdered and discarded our beautiful 14-year-old daughter,” Dubois said.
After a face-to face jail visit with Gardner yesterday, Amber’s mother, Carrie McGonigle, said she found some closure.
Last month McGonigle said she wanted to know the details from Gardner. “I want to know as her mom, but I think the community and law enforcement also has to know, how did this guy get Amber,” she said in April. “How do we protect our kids from someone like him?”
However, Moe Dubois said the missed opportunities to protect the community from Gardner allowed a “monster” to walk the streets looking for vulnerable young girls.
“Now, with our last hope for justice, we depend on the prison community to slowly and painfully cause (Gardner’s) remaining days on this earth to be a living nightmare, and I truly hope he suffers a hundred times the amount of pain he caused our family’s,” Moe Dubois said in his statement to the court. “`He will burn in hell for the acts he committed, I just hope that day is an agonizingly long way away and that he will have to suffer as much as we all have, actually more.”
The 14-year-old Amber Dubois went missing in February 2009. However, her body wasn’t found until two months ago. In an offer of life over death Gardner took authorities to a remote part of Pala where he discarded Amber’s remains.
The murder may have gone unsolved if Gardner was not arrested for the rape and murder of 17-year-old Chelsea King, a Poway High School senior.
Escondido Police Chief, Jim Maher said the Dubois case was just two weeks away from being placed in the cold case department.
King disappeared at the end of February while she went for an after-school run at Rancho Bernardo Community Park. It would be only three days later that Gardner was arraigned for her murder, and that he agreed to lead authorities to Amber’s body in Pala.
Looking ahead Moe Dubois says he is working with lawmakers to develop laws that will help authorities respond more quickly when children are taken. He will unveil details on May 25, coinciding with National Missing Children’s Day. Other ideas in the new program include requiring child predators to have special driver’s licenses.
On a side note, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger directed his administration to take action on recommendations made by the Sex Offender Management Board after a thorough review of the John Albert Gardner case.
Schwarzenegger said he directed the board to review the Gardner case and determine where systematic improvements could be made to protect communities.
The department will award contracts for a pilot program to treat designated sex offenders on parole as part of a containment model strategy and attempt to make more records available to the public, Schwarzenegger said.
As the doors closed on the courtroom, Gardner’s fate was sealed. Trying to make sense of all this seems impossible for outsiders looking in. However, Kelly King’s words echoed in the background; “Come on mom we have to get up, we have important things to do mom, very important.”
It’s been less than two months since Chelsea King was raped and murdered by a convicted sexual predator, with the dedication of her parents Chelsea’s Law has moved forward in the usually gridlocked Sacramento legislature.
The new law seeks to toughen existing sexual offenders laws by adding mandatory life prison sentences for forcible violent sex crimes against children, tightening sex offenders parole guidelines and adding requirements for the life-long tracking of certain repeat sexual offenders.
Chelsea’s law, Assembly Bill 1844 made it out of the Assembly Public Safety Committee this morning. The bill was penned by San Diego Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher (R-San Diego) has been working closely with the King family since their daughter was tragically murdered in late February.
“Public safety is my number one priority, and I share Assemblyman
Fletcher’s goal of making our communities safer and protecting our kids from
sexual predators,’” Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said in a statement today.
“It is our job to make sure that we have the right laws in place that
will keep our children safe, and I applaud the Assembly Public Safety Committee
for passing this important legislation today,” he said. “I look forward to
working with Assemblyman Fletcher and the rest of the legislature to make
`Chelsea’s Law’ a reality and create harsher penalties for those that prey on
John Gardner plead guilty to all charges for the murder of Amber Dubois and Chelsea King on Friday afternoon in a San Diego. In return the sexual predator will not face the death penalty.
The plea agreement states Gardner will get life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Amber Dubois, 14, went missing in February of 2009 and her body was recovered after Chelsea King’s murder took place in March of this year. Gardner was believed to be the killer of the Dubois case after DNA evidence linked the sexual predator to the King murder.
There has been speculation that Gardner was taken out of jail to show investigators the location of Dubois’ body in order to receive life in prison instead of the death penalty. Authorities also report Gardner is the potential perpetrator of other missing girls in Southern California.
As new details emerge from the shooting death of Arizona native, Robert Krentz, it appears the rancher tried to flee the murder scene in his Polaris ATV vehicle before he succumbed to his fatal injuries.
The Cochise County Sheriff’s office released new details today regarding the murder of the third generation Arizona rancher. Concerned residents of the Southeast Arizona community are fearful of the brazen attacks from illegal aliens well inside the U.S. borders.
The Sheriff’s office says Krentz went missing sometime after 6:00 p.m. on Saturday while working on his 35,000-acre ranch. The victim’s brother reported he communicated on Saturday with his brother using hand held radio phones.
Krentz’s brother said the last transmission from his brother was distressing and all he heard was “illegal alien” and “hurt.” The Cochise Sheriff spokesperson, Carol Capas says it was not uncommon for Krentz to assist illegal aliens who were in trouble on his property.
When Krentz failed to meet his brother at the predetermined location a call was made to the Sheriff ‘s office. The Cochise Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue Team deployed six mobile units and two ATV’s and air support immediately to the ranch.
“Shortly before midnight the helicopter crew advised that they had located the missing subject who was deceased inside his Polaris ATV and his dog was with him and appeared to be injured,” Capas said. “Investigators tracked the Polaris path back 1,000 feet to where the incident began and detectives were able to determine that Krentz apparently came upon at least one subject in the area.”
Authorities suggested that Krentz and his dog were shot while still in the vehicle when they attempted to drive away from the scene. “The ATV vehicle was driven at a high rate of speed before the victim became unconscious,” Capas said.
Border Patrol was alerted once the murder was known and BP trackers embarked on a search for the perpetrator. The Border Patrol Agents followed (foot) tracks that headed south towards Mexico.
After the victim was found, Krentz and his dog were taken to the Cochise County Medical Examiner to determine the exact time of death, according to Capas.
Cochise County Sheriff Larry Dever admitted they don’t have a motive for the murder at this point, but said it could have been a retaliation killing.
According to a story in the Arizona Daily Star, the victim’s brother reported drug smuggling activity in the area to the Border Patrol the day before. “Agents found 290 pounds of marijuana on the ranch and followed tracks to where they found and arrested eight illegal immigrants,” said Border Patrol Tucson Sector deputy chief Robert Boatright. “None were prosecuted because of a lack of evidence. They were all in custody when the shooting (of Mr. Krentz) occurred,” he said.
It was not uncommon for Krentz to call Border Patrol and report the location of illegal aliens or help them with food and water if they required assistance.
Sheriff Dever also reported there was another incident in the past 24 hours of the murder that could possibly be connected to the crime. This event involved a stolen gun, but Sheriff Dever would not elaborate on the details surrounding the possible theft.
Local Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) released a statement today regarding the murder of the Arizona rancher.
“The cold-blooded killing of an Arizona rancher is a sad and sobering reminder of the threats to public safety that exist in our border communities,” said Giffords. “It has not yet been determined who committed this atrocity or why, but I know that federal and local authorities are mobilizing every possible resource to locate and apprehend the assailant.”
“If, as suspected, this tragedy was connected to smugglers or drug cartels, the federal government must respond appropriately,” said Giffords, who’s 8th Congressional District includes 114 miles of international border. “All options should be on the table, including sending more Border Patrol agents to the area and deploying the National Guard.”
The Congresswoman sent her condolences to the Krentz family. “I can’t begin to imagine losing a loved one in such a tragic way. Rob Krentz was a pillar of the Cochise County ranching community. He will be greatly missed,” she said.
Arizona’s Governor Jan Brewer commented on her Facebook page about the tragic murder. “Today I call for immediate action by the federal government to increase public safety at Arizona’s border through the addition of National Guard soldiers and airmen. I made my initial request for additional troops to U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates on March 11, 2009, followed by a joint letter from four border governors to congressional leaders on April 22, 2009. Since then, federal officials have neither denied the request, nor fulfilled it.”
The Arizona governor has indicated she will sign tough new legislation in the next few weeks making it illegal for immigrants to trespass in the state, essentially making it illegal to be illegal in the state of Arizona.
For more stories; http://www.examiner.com/examiner/x-10317-San-Diego-County-Political-Buzz-Examiner~y2010m3d28-Arizona-rancher-murdered-by-illegal-immigrant-who-flees-to-Mexico
Click here to find out more!