Thursday, June 16, 2011

Gaxiola jury informed about notebooks and text messages

Albert Gaxiola
(pool photo by Benjie Sanders/
Arizona Daily Star)
On what had been anticipated to be the final day of evidence presentation by the prosecution in the Pima County Superior Court trial for alleged double-murderer Albert Robert Gaxiola the jury heard testimony regarding notebooks confiscated at Gaxiola residence on June 1, 2009, and cell phone activities that weekend.

Gaxiola, 43, faces two counts of first-degree murder in the May 30, 2009 deaths of Raul “Junior” Flores and his daughter, Brisenia, 9. Additional charges include: the attempted first-degree murder of Gina Marie Gonzalez; 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.

Both Forde and co-defendant Jason Eugene Bush have been tried and convicted on the same charges. Forde received two death sentences plus 65 years in the Arizona Department of Corrections and Bush received two death sentences and 78 years in prison.

Lead detective

Pima County Sheriff’s Department Det. Juan Carlos Navarro testified that one of the notebook confiscated during a search of Gaxiola’s Arivaca residence contained a phone list that was similar to the phone contacts I saw on Gaxiola’s cell phone when it had been confiscated a day earlier.

Navarro said the second notebook had contained notes that appeared to outline plans regarding Flores. “The first thing I noticed was: ‘green light Junior, 5-4-09,’” he testified. “The second thing I noticed was: ‘black mini 30, no clip, fold-out stock.’ We recovered a mini 30 rifle from the Mesquite address, the Flores home. That was behind the front the door.”

The notes continued. “Truck him, Hummer her, two quads, one Tony,” he said. “Ms. Gonzalez drives a Hummer and they do have a truck too. Tony Smith, through my investigation is a close friend of Junior Flores.”

The next cryptic note read: “Two weeks until my death already paid and hole dug,” Navarro testified. The note was followed by a reference to a small town in Mexico.

The notes continued. “Raul, Victor vindictive. Drugs. Both out, green light,” Navarro testified. “Green light 5-3, Tony, white four-wheel lifted two.”

Text messages

As we learned during the Forde trial in January there were numerous communications using text messaging via cellphones. Navarro used a PowerPoint presentation to outline key messages exchanged on May 29-31, 2009. The times listed are the military 24-hour clock system. The references to Forde, Gaxiola and Gina Moraga (Gaxiola’s girlfriend) refer to the cellphones used by each of those persons. Gaxiola started using Moraga’s phone after homicide detectives confiscated his.

May 29, 2009

1.       1338 hours: Gaxiola to Forde—“Bad guys looking for crew who broke door. Dog that took blast made it. Text when arrive. O has to give Red early tour.”
2.       1341 hours: Forde to Gaxiola—“Here now.”
3.       1342 hours: Gaxiola to Forde—“Copy. Sending Oh. Get his number.”
4.       1413 hours: Gaxiola to Forde—“Have Oh call.”
5.       1439 hours: Forde to Gaxiola—“Oh needs a box of SK ammo and a box of triple buck shot and one box of slugs.”
6.       1444 hours: Gaxiola to Forde—“Bag of 7.62 in ammo box by main door. Copy on slugs.”
7.       1445 hours: Forde to Gaxiola—“10-4.”
8.       1543 hours: Forde to Gaxiola—“O returning with me after nightfall.”

May 30, 2009

1.       0133 hours: Gaxiola to Forde—“Cops on scene. Lay low.”
2.       0158 hours: Forde to Gaxiola—“No worries. All good. Just relax. Competition gone.”
3.       0208 hours: Forde to Gaxiola—“How do we turn camera on in bedroom?”
4.       0210 hours: Gaxiola to Forde—“Press input button on TV.”
5.       0213 hours: Forde to Gaxiola—“TV controller? What color?”
6.       0215 hours: Gaxiola to Forde—“Gray. Press TV. Press input. Input 1.”
7.       0217 hours: Forde to Gaxiola—“Got it.”
8.       0218 hours: Gaxiola to Forde—“Copy. Sweet dreams. Out.”
9.       0241 hours: Forde to Gaxiola—“Can u stop and get a few rolls gauze and compress bandages? Big ones at a 24 hour store.”
10.    0243 hours: Gaxiola to Forde—“Use towels. Anything you need. Car dead on side of road.”
11.    0246 hours: Forde to Gaxiola—“We’re on it. No worries. Are you going to be okay? Someone coming to get you?”
12.    0247 hours: Gaxiola to Forde—“Have AAA enroute.”
13.    0745 hours: Gaxiola to Forde—“Had to sleep. Car alternator bad. When are you coming this way?”
14.    0746 hours: Forde to Gaxiola—“Dude, Red cannot be moved. Where are you?”
15.    0752 hours: Gaxiola to Forde—“Car alternator bad. Will not start in Tucson. You have to get him up and bring him to town or lay low until car fixed.”
16.    1217 hours: Forde to Moraga—“Where’s Oh?”
17.    1226 hours: Moraga to Forde—“520-822-4173 (Oakstar’s number).”
18.    1228 hours: Forde to Oakstar—A voice telephone call.
19.    1402 hours: Forde to Moraga—“Can you bring my car? Will be better for now.”
20.    1643 hours: Moraga to Forde—“Send keys up. I’ll take your car down.”
21.    1644 hours: Forde to Moraga—“IG&T people on the way here. I’ll send them keys. It will be late.”
22.    1646 hours: Moraga to Forde—“If I get car fixed first I will go down there. Otherwise, as soon as I get keys will go down,”
23.    1902 hours: Moraga to Forde—“How are you all hanging? Get your rest and gather strength. Red on med leave. Next target intel will need a 4 man team. Details when we me. Gina.”
24.    1904 hours: Forde to Moraga—“Where to u want the keys dropped? Can get them dropped by 10.”
25.    1907 hours: Moraga to Forde—“Pima and Craycroft. Have them call when arrive. Will meet. Gina.”
26.    1908 hours: Forde to Moraga—“Who is Gina?”
27.    1915 hours: Moraga to Forde—“Pima Craycroft. Have them call when arrive. Will meet.”
28.    2128 hours: Forde to Moraga—“We told the woman you are a minuteman. Red is patched up.”
29.    2229 hours: Moraga to Forde—“Red is good then? Have a could night see you tomorrow.”
30.   2233 hours: Forde to Moraga—“He is amazing man. All good. Remember you are one of my minutemen. When you get keys I’ll see you in am. Love you.”

May 31, 2009

1.     0859 hours: Forde to Moraga—“Have phone on for keys this am.”
2.     0925 hours: Moraga to Forde—“Copy.”
3.    1037 hours: Forde to Moraga—“Got keys yet?”
4.    1038 hours: Moraga to Forde—“At noon. Already spoke with her. Meeting at noon.”

Navarro was asked if he spoke with a person identified as Laine Lawless during the course of his investigation. “Yes I did,” he relied.

There was testimony last week from New Mexico resident Chuck Stonex that indicated that he had observed Forde hand a set of keys and a piece of paper with a phone number to Lawless on the evening of May 30 at Gaxiola’s residence in Arivaca. Stonex testified that Forde asked Lawless to deliver the keys to Tucson.

Lawless provided her contact information to Navarro during his investigative interview. Navarro testified that a review of cellphone records revealed that there had been two contacts between the phone associated with Lawless and the phone associated with Moraga on the morning of May 31. “10:30 in the morning and at noon,” he said.

5.     1038 hours: Forde to Moraga—“K.”
6.     1216 hours: Forde to Moraga—“Hey bro. I’m feeling top notch. Can you get some big compress bandages? Thx.”
7.     1217 hours: Moraga to Forde—“You got it Red. See u soon.”
8.     1218 hours: Forde to Moraga—“Love, honor, respect. Brothers.”
9.     1412 hours: Moraga to Forde—“Have keys. Will be heading south soon. Will test when I depart.”
10.  1515 hours: Forde to Moraga—“How you doing? All quiet here.”
11.  1518 hours: Moraga to Forde—“Good. Getting ready to go back. Be in right after dark. Everything cool on my side. See you real soon.”
12.  1846 hours: Forde to Moraga—“Still cool here, bro.”
13.  1859 hours: Moraga to Forde—“I will be there right after dark.”
14.  1901 hours: Forde to Moraga—“Cool. Don’t forget bandages, okay.”
15.  1905 hours: Forde to Moraga—“Are we going out on a job tonight?”
16.  1914 hours: Moraga to Forde—“ETA 2 hrs. Will advise.”
17.  2038 hours: Forde to Moraga—“All good here bro.”
18.  2039 hours: Moraga to Forde—“I will be there real soon.”

Testimony concluded with a defense motion for a mistrial, which was taken under advisement by Judge John S. Leonardo.