Sunday, February 06, 2011

Another week of bizarre testimony about Shawna Forde

A member of the Colorado Minuteman Project, who is also an informant for the Federal Bureau of Investigation, last week, linked Shawna Forde to plans for a home invasion in Arivaca.

Ron Wedow, who used the code name Raven when undertaking Minuteman activities, testified that it was October 2007 when he met Forde.

Shawna Forde

Forde, 43, is charged with two counts of first-degree felony murder in the May, 30, 2009, deaths of Raul “Junior” Flores and his daughter, Brisenia, 9, as well as charges of one count of attempted first-degree murder; one count of burglary in the first-degree; one count of aggravated assault, serious physical injury; one count of aggravated assault, deadly weapon/dangerous instrument; one count of armed robbery; and one count of aggravated armed robbery.

Wedow received a call from Forde in late April 2009 saying she was looking for a specialized team. “She wanted to know if I had a team that could go down there and take this house down. The family was a front,” he said. “She said that at any given time there were $2-3 million in the house.”

Recorded calls

After learning about the May 30, 2009, home invasion at the Flores home Wedow contacted the FBI who asked him to call Forde on June 2 and June 9. “If the cops want to talk to me they can call me,” Forde said on the call.

Wedow asked Forde if she still planned her operation they had discussed in Colorado. “Our main guy is in jail,” Forde is heard saying. “We’ll have to bail him out.”

Forde is also heard telling Wedow that bandits had wounded a comrade during a recent operation in a wash off of SR 286. “I have a buddy who got two bullets in the leg,” she is heard saying.

Wedow asked Forde about her status. “I don’t trust anybody,” she is heard saying. “I’m the person that is willing to take it to the next level and that scares them.”

DNA testimony

During testimony Tuesday morning, a DNA analyst for Sorenson Forensics in Salt Lake City, told the jury that many of the key items taken into evidence in the case were linked to either co-defendant Jason Bush or co-defendant Albert Gaxiola. A silver ring found in a purse in the burnt orange Honda Element driven by Forde when she was arrested showed a partial DNA profile that matched certain areas of the profile his lab had for Forde.

On Wednesday, Pima County Sheriff’s Department Det. Charles Garcia told the jury that he interviewed Gonzalez in the emergency room as she was being treated for two gunshot wounds, one to the right shoulder and the other the right thigh.

Garcia also interviewed Gonzalez on June 2 at UMC when he showed her a photo lineup with the pictures of six females with blond hair. Forde was picture number two in the photo array. “I remember her looking at it,” Garcia testified. “She eliminated numbers one, three and four. She became fixated on two, five and six and started talking about characteristics. She looked closely at two and five.”

Cell phone records

Det. Juan Carlos Navarro testified, Wednesday and Thursday, regarding cell phone records for key individuals involved in the case: Shawna Forde, co-defendant Albert Gaxiola, co-defendant Jason Bush, Gina Moraga and Oin Oakstar. In the cell phone registered to Forde where entries for Bush as “Red” and Gaxiola as “Albert.” In Gaxiola’s cell phone directory Forde as listed as “White.”

Some of the highlights of the text messages included:

May 29, 1:30 p.m. – Gaxiola to Forde: “Bad guys looking 4 crew who broke door. Dog who took blast made it. Txt when arrive. Had to give Red early tour 45 with dishes. Have a great day.”

May 29, 1:41 p.m. – Forde to Gaxiola: “Here now.”

May 29, 1:42 p.m. – Gaxiola to Forde: “Copy. Sending o. Get his number.”

May 30, 1:33 a.m. – Gaxiola to Forde: “Cops on scene. Lay low.”

May 30, 1:58 a.m. – Forde to Gaxiola: “No worries. All good. Relax, competition gone.”

May 30, 2:41 a.m. – Forde to Gaxiola: “Can u stop and get a few rolls of gauze and compress bandages.”

May 30, 2:43 a.m. – “Use tools. Car dead on side of road.”

May 30, 6:08 a.m. – Forde to daughter, Jaszmin Eddy: “Whatever goes down im in deep know I love u make me proud and do somethin good with ur life ill call in a week god bless u jasz.”

May 30, 7:45 a.m. – Forde to Gaxiola: “Dude. Red cannot be moved. Where r u?”

May 30, 6:15 a.m. – Forde (Bush) to Moraga (Gaxiola): “What is ur eta? This is Red.”

May 30, 1:54 p.m. – Forde to Moraga (Gaxiola): “Hey bro saw the news everything is good.”

May 30, 3:51 p.m. – Moraga (Gaxiola) to Forde (Bush): “It is good f------ car problems calling White in 2 min.”

May 30, 7:02 p.m. – Moraga (Gaxiola) to Forde: “How yall hangin get ur rest and gather strength Red on med leave have next target intel when we meet Gina.”

May 30, 7:04 p.m. – Forde to Moraga (Gaxiola): “Who is Gina?”

May 30, 9:28 p.m. – Forde to Moraga (Gaxiola): “We told the woman you are minuteman Red is patched up.”

May 30, 9:30 p.m. – Moraga (Gaxiola) to Forde: “Red is good then have a good night.”

May 30, 10:33 p.m. – Forde to Moraga (Gaxiola): “He is amazing man all good when you get keys see you in am love u.”

Forde arrest

Jason Bush

After Forde was arrested in Cochise County Navarro and another detective interviewed her. She denied having anything to do with the May 30 home invasion. “I wasn’t there on the 30th,” Forde reportedly said. “I was in Tucson or California. What is this about?”

Forde was asked about co-defendant Jason Bush, aka Gunny, aka Red. “Not Much,” she reportedly said. “Special Forces. Seems to be a stand up guy.”

Forde also told detectives that the last time she saw Bush was when she dropped him off at Melinda Shelton’s house outside Kingman.  Shelton had testified last week that Bush showed up in the middle of the night a few days after the home invasion.

Forde said Gaxiola was one of the scouts used by her minuteman group. “he let’s us use his house,” she reportedly said. “He’s a great scout.”

Snail mail

Navarro also testified about letters mailed from the Pima County Adult Detention Center by Forde to her son, Devon Eddy. In the letters she was asking her son to identify items of jewelry that Gonzalez reported stolen and found in her possession as jewelry he had given to her.

In rebuttal to cross-examination of Navarro, the state introduced another snail mail letter from Forde at the Pima County Adult Detention Center to her daughter Jaszmin Eddy. “Once I know you’re getting my mail I’ll go over some things with you,” Navarro read from a portion of the letter.

Gina Moraga

Earlier in the trial, the jury was told that Forde wore size 7 shoes and that a pair of size 7 hiking boots with Bush’s blood had been found on the porch at Gaxiola’s house. A question from the jury to Navarro, Thursday, wondered if a DNA profile was done of Gina Moraga. Navarro testified that there was no DNA profile. The jury also asked if the size 7 shoes found in her vehicle when Gaxiola was arrested were swabbed for DNA. “Her shoes were not swabbed,” he testified. “We had no evidence that she was part of the home invasion crew.”

More detectives

After the state rested, the defense called several detectives who have originally been on the state’s witness list, but they decided not to call. One of those detectives was Martyn Rosalik who searched the master bathroom at the Flores home. “Above the vanity I located a compartment that contained some court paperwork involving marijuana and a Robert Hamilton,” he testified. Rosalik said there was no apparent connection to Raul Flores.

Also, in a storage shed at the Flores home, Rosalik found an electric air purifier and shrink wrap. “Those items are used for storage of marijuana,” he testified.

Due to witness scheduling issues, the trial was not in session on Friday, Feb. 4. Trial will resume on Tuesday, Feb. 8, with additional defense witnesses including Gaxiola neighbor Byron Easter and Colorado FBI informant Bob “Anglo” Copley expected to testify at the request of the defense. The judge and the attorneys are expected to meet Wednesday without the jury to review final jury instructions and the verdicts in the case. Testimony is scheduled to resume Thursday morning with an expert witness. Closing arguments are anticipated on Thursday afternoon at which time deliberations would start.