I don’t like to use the names of crazies who commit murder, but in this case I am choosing to use the name of one of three people charged with with a nine year old girl in southern Arizona. The little girl, Brisenia, was nine when Shawna Forde masterminded the home invasion robberies of drop or stash houses near the Mexico – U.S. border south of Tucson, in Pima County, in 2009 in order to finance border militia operations. The problem is that Brisenia’s home wasn’t a drop or stash house according to the evidence and the invasion turned into a double homicide.
The first of three trials for her and her father’s murders ended just after noon today, February 14,2011. Shawna Forde has been found guilty of first degree murder of both 9-year old Brisenia Flores and her father Raul. Arizona does have the death penalty. Sentencing of Ms. Forde will take place separately.
Two more trials of men accused in the murders have yet to take place.
Brisenia’s mother identified Ms. Forde as one of the three people who broke into her house and killed her family in 2009. There were also recordings of Forde’s phone conversations and one of the father’s rings was in her possession after the murders. Apparently these things were enough for the predominantly female jury to find Forde guilty for planning and ordering the murders even though she did not fire the weapons.
The Minutemen, a border militia group, has splintered since Forde helped found the Minutemen Civil Defense Corps. Forde, has been called unstable by this group, and she later founded another group , the Minutemen American Defense, of which one of the others charged in the slayings is National Operations Coordinator as well as being associated with Aryan Nation. The Minutemen Project disavows affiliation with Ms. Forde.
The border militia groups deny being vigilante but at least some of the members of some of the groups show the disregard of law as well as disregard of the rights of certain ethnic groups. These actions of disrespect that are central to border vigilantism.