Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Book Reading and Signing of "Illegal, Life and Death in Arizona's Immigration War Zone"




VOICES OF THE HUNTED PEOPLE
Terry Greene Sterling discusses her controversial nonfiction book profiling immigrants living in Phoenix, the heart of Arizona's Immigration War Zone,
at Antigone Books in Tucson on May 6th.

Terry Greene Sterling





What: Book Reading and Signing of "Illegal, Life and Death in Arizona's Immigration War Zone" by Terry Greene Sterling.
When: May 6th, 2011, 7:00 p.m.
Where: Antigone Books
411 Fourth Ave, Tucson, AZ 85705


Award-winning Arizona journalist Terry Greene Sterling, author of the only nonfiction book that profiles unauthorized immigrants living in Phoenix, will give her first Tucson reading and book signing at Antigone Books in Tucson, on May 6 at 7:00 p.m.
Sterling is a three-time winner of Arizona's highest journalism award and a former staff writer at Phoenix New Times. She has been honored with multiple national and regional journalism awards. Today, she's contributor for The Daily Beast , the only national publication that had a writer (Sterling)  cover day-to-day proceedings of the borderlands murder trial of Shawna Forde - the  Minutewoman sentenced to death for the murders of Brisenia Flores and her father Raul in a botched home invasion.
Sterling's 2010 investigative package for Phoenix New Times, about the influence of nativist groups in the immigration debate, was among several Village Voice Media stories that won the Aranson Award for social justice reporting.
Sterling is also Writer-in-Residence at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University, where she coaches students and teaches Magazine Writing.
Her stories have appeared in numerous newspapers and magazines, including The Washington Post, Newsweek, Newsweek.com,salon.com, thedailybeast.com.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Forde sentenced to an additional 65 years in prison


Forde's Death Row
mug shot. 

The founder of Minuteman American Defense, Shawna Forde, took a day trip Monday from Death Row in Florence to Pima County Superior Court to be sentenced on the six additional charges for which she was convicted on Feb. 14.

Forde, 43, was convicted of two counts of first-degree felony murder in the deaths of Raul “Junior” Flores and his daughter, Brisenia, 9. The jury imposed the death penalty for those two charges on Feb. 22.

It took the jury of one male and 11 females approximately seven hours in February to reach their unanimous verdicts on one count of the attempted first-degree murder of Gina 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.

Testimony from prosecution witnesses in the case painted Forde as a wannabe black ops leader who proposed to finance her Blackwater-type operations by raiding suspected drug cartel operations in and around Arivaca in southern Arizona. Testimony showed that Forde intended to take the drugs, guns and money found during those raids to finance her continuing operations.

Testimony from defense witnesses was intended to convince the jury that while Forde talked a good game that all it amount to was just talk and that someone other than Forde was responsible for leading the fatal invasion of the Flores home in the early morning hours of May 30, 2009.

During the sentencing hearing on Counts 3-8 on Monday, Judge John S. Leonardo imposed an additional 65 years in the Arizona Department of Corrections.

Prior to announcing the sentences Leonardo addressed Forde who stood before him dressed in orange prison garb with her dark brown hair pulled back in a bun on the back of her head. “Ms. Forde, is there anything you would like to say?” asked Leonardo. “No,” was Forde’s reply.

Sentences imposed Monday:
·       Count 3—burglary in the first degree—15 years, to be served consecutively to the death penalty sentences imposed by the jury in counts 1 and 2.
·       Count 4—attempted first-degree murder—15 years to be served consecutively to the sentence imposed for count 3.
·       Count 5—aggravated assault, serious physical injury—10 years to be served consecutively the sentence imposed for count 3.
·       Count 6—aggravated assault with a deadly weapon—10 years to be served concurrently with the sentence imposed for count 5.
·       Count 7—armed robbery—15 years to be served consecutively to the sentence imposed for count 3.
·       Count 8—aggravated robbery—10 years to be served consecutively to the sentence imposed for count 3.

On the issue of restitution, Leonardo granted the prosecution 30 days in order to submit an affidavit listing the losses incurred by Gonzalez and her family. “My understanding is that Ms. Gonzalez has completed it and we should be able to get to Mr. Larsen and appellate counsel in the next few days. She just didn’t bring it with her today,” said Deputy County Attorney Rick Unklesbay.

Shortly after the hearing, Forde was led from the courtroom followed by trial counsel Eric Larsen and a team of appellate lawyers led by Natman Schaye. While appeals to the Arizona Supreme Court of the convictions and sentences imposed on the first-degree murder counts are automatic, appeals of the convictions on counts 3-8 have to be initiated by Forde and her appellate counsel and that cannot take place until sentences are imposed.

Co-defendant Jason Eugene Bush is scheduled to be sentenced for his convictions on counts 3-8 on May 13. He was sentenced to death on two counts of first-degree murder on April 5. And, co-defendant Albert Gaxiola is scheduled to begin trial with jury selection on June 1.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Jason Bush now has an advocate on the worldwide web


First there was the Justice for Shawna Forde Internet website. Now there is Jason Eugene Bush (Railroaded) The rest of the Story. There is no indication as to the designer for the website.

JASON EUGENE BUSH
(RAILROADED)
THE REST OF THE STORY

  • THE UNHEARD OF "NO DEFENSE" TRAVESTY OF A MURDER TRIAL!
  • SOME INCONVENIENT TRUTHS; EVIDENCE THE GOVERNMENT DOES NOT WANT EXPOSED!
  • THE UNCALLED WITNESSES WITH EXCULPATORY TESTIMONY!
  • QUESTIONS THAT BEG TO BE ASKED; INCONSISTENCIES, INCONGRUENCIES AND OUTRIGHT LIES!
  • THE ILL-GOTTEN "CONFESSION"


THE TRIAL THAT WASN'T

Jason's guilt was ASSUMED during Shawna Forde's trial, with him frequently referred to as "the shooter," as though that had been proven. Shawna's conviction as well as Jason's were nailed with a careful avoidance of any witnesses or evidence that contradicted the lies and circumstantial evidence presented in an extremely heated racial and emotional atmosphere. Jason was tried, right along with Shawna Forde during her trial, without having any opportunity to defend himself. No wonder Jason's attorneys took such an unconventional approach in an attempt to at least avoid the death penalty. It was obvious from the lynch mob mentality of the jurors and what passed for "justice" in Shawna Forde's case that Jason didn't have any chance of a fair trial no matter what evidence the defense might produce.

It bears repeating that the ASSUMPTION of Jason's guilt as the shooter was the single most damning piece of "evidence" in Shawna Forde's trial, resulting in her receiving the death penalty. That in itself is mind-boggling. Not only was "Innocent until proven guilty" non-existent in her case, but she was sentenced to die on ASSUMPTIONS of someone else's guilt! Then to compound the injustices, Jason was convicted to die without any defense whatsoever, with "evidence" presented in Shawna Forde's trial considered as proof of his guilt! What an unbelievable cluster!

This website has been created for the purpose of exploring and exposing the exonerating pieces of evidence, the questionable testimonies and motives of some of the witnesses, and to ask the questions that one would expect to be asked in an investigation by the prosecution and defense of citizens on trial for their lives in the United States of America.

STAY TUNED FOR THIS AND MORE AS THE TRUTH COMES TO LIGHT..

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Night bloomer opens even further

Some additional shots of the night blooming cactus in our backyard.

Night bloomer does its thing

Kathy's night blooming cactus is doing its thing for
the first time in two years.

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Man's best friends

Kona (left) and Kato (right)
Kona is still asleep while Kato knows his picture is 
being taken.
Kato
Kona
The masters of the house, Kona, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, and Kato, a Shifon, prefer that I sit in my easy chair when I'm home. They are lap dogs in the truest sense. Every so often I move to the den to use the flatbed scanner. This afternoon, they made certain they knew when I was leaving the den. 

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Bush jury sentences him to death for the murders of Raul and Brisenia Flores


Jason Bush
(Pool photo)

A Pima County Superior Court jury has sentenced Minutemen American Defense Operations Director Jason Eugene Bush to death for his role in the May 30, 2009, shooting deaths of Arivaca residents Raul “Junior” Flores and his daughter, Brisenia, 9.

Judge John S. Leonardo immediately pronounced the sentence of death by lethal injection on Bush for the two counts and ordered that sentencing on the other six counts be set for May 13 at 9:30 a.m. Bush now joins co-defendant Shawna Forde on Arizona’s Death Row at the state prison in Florence.

It took the four male and eight female jurors approximately three-and-a-half hours of deliberation to reach their verdicts of death in the case. The jury left the courthouse without comment.

Deputy County Attorneys Rick Unklesbay and Kellie Johnson had no comment as well as they are scheduled to try co-defendant Albert Gaxiola starting with jury selection on June 1.

Defense counsel Chris Kimminau and Richard Parrish expressed disappointment at the verdicts noting there would be an automatic appeal of the sentences to the Arizona Supreme Court.


Earlier verdicts
On March 25, the jury returned guilty verdicts against Bush, 36, on two counts of first-degree murder in the May 30, 2009 deaths of Raul “Junior” Flores and his daughter, Brisenia, 9, at their home in Arivaca. The jury further found that the murders were premeditated and were also committed while Bush was engaged in other felony activities, including 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.

Following that the jury confirmed that aggravating factors existed which make Bush eligible for the death penalty in this case.
Closing arguments

During closing arguments on Tuesday the jury was told by defense counsel Richard Parrish that “If it were only the murder of a drug dealer and only injuries to the drug dealer’s wife, we wouldn’t be sitting here. That 9-year-old girl is an unforgiveable act.”

Deputy County Attorney Rick Unklesbay took exception to that characterization by defense counsel Richard Parrish in closing arguments for the sentencing phase of the trial. “I guess we finally got a glimpse of what their real defense is,” Unklesbay said. “What they want you to do is to go back into the jury room and say the Flores family simply isn’t worth your time.”

Parrish then proceeded to an area that raised an objection from the prosecution. “There are 38 states that have the death penalty, 12 states do not,” he said. “The United States is the only Judeo-Christian country in the world that uses the death penalty.”

The objection to the statement by Parrish was sustained by Judge John S. Leonardo. “You were brought here to decide whether a man should live or die,” Parrish said to the jury.

Unklesbay appeared to be nearly speechless as he argued to the jury that the appropriate penalty was death. “It’s astonishing and offensive that a defense attorney would stand up here and say that they are not worthy of having the law applied equally to them,” he said. “When someone commits a crime like this, when someone can do to a 9-year-old what this man did unless you find something significant, unless you find something substantial that would mitigate somehow what he did then your verdict should be death.”

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

It’s now in the hands of the jury as to whether or not Jason Bush lives or dies


Jason Bush
(Pool photo)

The Pima County Superior Court jury deciding whether convicted double-murderer Jason Eugene Bush is sentenced to death or spends the rest of his life in prison was told Tuesday that “If it were only the murder of a drug dealer and only injuries to the drug dealer’s wife, we wouldn’t be sitting here. That 9-year-old girl is an unforgiveable act.”

Deputy County Attorney Rick Unklesbay took exception to that characterization by defense counsel Richard Parrish in closing arguments for the sentencing phase of the trial. “I guess we finally got a glimpse of what their real defense is,” Unklesbay said. “What they want you to do is to go back into the jury room and say the Flores family simply isn’t worth your time.”

The jury deliberated for about 90 minutes Tuesday afternoon before retiring for the evening. They are set to resume deliberations at 9 a.m. Wednesday.

On March 25, the jury returned guilty verdicts against Bush, 36, on two counts of first-degree murder in the May 30, 2009 deaths of Raul “Junior” Flores and his daughter, Brisenia, 9, at their home in Arivaca. The jury further found that the murders were premeditated and were also committed while Bush was engaged in other felony activities, including 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.

Following that the jury confirmed that aggravating factors existed which make Bush eligible for the death penalty in this case.

Paranoid schizophrenic

Prior to starting deliberations the jury heard testimony from Dr. Marc Walter, a clinical neuropsychologist in private practice in Phoenix. Walter, at the request of Bush’s attorneys, had evaluated him and determined that he was a paranoid schizophrenic.

During testimony, Tuesday morning, Walter was asked about the numerous letters and certificates of praise about Bush’s imaginary military career testified about last week. “This is very unusual to see something like this,” he told the jury. “This is a very strong indicator of a delusional system very much involving the military.”

Walter asked, almost rhetorically, “Why would anybody need something like this?” His answer: “Anybody who is anchored in reality, who is living in the real world, the world of consensual reality would not need such a document,” he said. “It suggests that he took extreme effort to manufacture documents that would help him stay anchored in his other reality,”

Walter admitted that he still does not have the entire story about Jason Bush, that he just peeled back a few layers. “He, like most paranoids, was guarded with me. He did admit to some things but he didn’t go into all of this stuff with me,” he testified. “That’s not unusual.”

Unspeakable acts

During closing arguments for this phase of the case, Parrish argued that everything the jury had heard in the evidence presented in this trial was relevant. “Some things have to be said about this case that nobody’s had the guts to say,” he told the jury.

Raul and Brisenia Flores
Parrish did recall a statement from the lone victim in the deadly home invasion that was not in evidence but part of the victim impact statement she read to the jury. “Gina Gonzalez said to you that she went to bed that night in heaven and she woke up in hell,” he said. “She had a drug dealer husband. She was living in a trailer in Arivaca on five or 10 acres. There was a loaded assault rifle in the nook of the front door. There was a loaded .40 caliber Smith & Wesson pistol near the stove. She knew enough to take that .40 caliber weapon, pull back the slide, undo the safety and shoot at somebody.”

Parrish talked about Oin Oakstar, an admitted drug dealer in Arivaca, who testified about the so-called Arivaca Rules. “He says we have different rules in Arivaca. Not the rules that you morons live by,” Parrish said. “We’re drug dealers. We smuggle illegal aliens. Some guy named Eddie gives the green light to these people to go kill Junior Flores because he was competition in the drug business. I don’t get it. That’s heaven?”

Parrish reminded the jury that some things he had to say may be found to be offensive. “We’re not supposed to say things like that because she suffered a tragedy and that is true,” he said.

Parrish reminded the jury that his client had suffered himself for a number of years. “Jason Bush has shown so much mental illness since the age of 10 and his mother says since the age of two, documented mental illness, how are they going to bring a doctor in to say that it didn’t happen,” he said.  “He committed an unforgivable murder of a 9-year-old girl. You do the same thing to him. Murder him. That’s all it’s about.”

Parrish asked the jury to consider what justice actually is. “There is no definition of what justice is. You can’t define it,” he suggested.

Biblical references

Parrish described an evolution of the concept of justice for the jury using a pre-printed board in board English and Hebrew, as well as a little Greek. He said the oldest concept of justice was conceived about 1,000 B.C. “An eye for an eye. A tooth for a tooth,” he said. “I’m sure that some of you have read the bible or actually seen one.”

Parrish suggested that when you get to the older portion of the Old Testament that justice became undefined. “It hath been told thee ole man what is good and what God requires of you to do justice and to love mercy,” he said. “This is an evolution 500 years later. Then in Leviticus it says thou shall love thy neighbor as thyself. That is the ultimate definition of justice that is in the Old Testament.”

Parrish said 500 years after that the New Testament was published. “Some of you might even have seen that,” he said, referring to the Sermon on the Mount. “Justice is no longer conditional love as it is in the Old Testament. It hath been told me that you have heard that it was said an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, but I say to you do not resist him who is evil, if he slaps you on the right cheek turn to him the other. Wow, that’s an awfully new idea.”

Parrish then proceeded to an area that raised an objection from the prosecution. “There are 38 states that have the death penalty, 12 states do not,” he said. “The United States is the only Judeo-Christian country in the world that uses the death penalty.”

The objection to the statement was sustained by Judge John S. Leonardo. “You were brought here to decide whether a man should live or die,” Parrish said to the jury.

Astonishing and offensive

Unklesbay appeared to be nearly speechless as he argued to the jury that the appropriate penalty was death. “It’s astonishing and offensive that a defense attorney would stand up here and say that they are not worthy of having the law applied equally to them,” he said. “When someone commits a crime like this, when someone can do to a 9-year-old what this man did unless you find something significant, unless you find something substantial that would mitigate somehow what he did then your verdict should be death.”

Motion for mistrial in Bush case is denied


Jason Bush
(Pool photo)

The sentencing phase in the double-homicide death penalty trial for Jason Eugene Bush will proceed despite concern that the victim impact statement read to the jury contained potentially prejudicial information.

On March 25, the jury returned guilty verdicts against Bush, 36, on two counts of first-degree murder in the May 30, 2009 deaths of Raul “Junior” Flores and his daughter, Brisenia, 9, at their home in Arivaca. The jury further found that the murders were premeditated and were also committed while Bush was engaged in other felony activities, including 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.

Following that the jury confirmed that aggravating factors existed which make Bush eligible for the death penalty in this case.

Victim impact

The issues regarding the potentially prejudicial statements by Gonzalez as she read a victim impact statement at the start of the sentencing phase of the trial were raised as the lawyers were finalizing the final instructions for the sentencing phase. The defense asked Judge John S. Leonardo for an instruction telling the jury to disregard portions of that statement. “The limiting jury instruction is simply not the law,” said Deputy County Attorney Rick Unklesbay. “First of all, counsel is just absolutely incorrect on the law,” said defense counsel Chris Kimminau.

Unklesbay’s contention was that the statement by Gonzalez contained no statements that were prejudicial to Bush. “Apparently, the claim by the defense is that Ms. Gonzalez made some statements about the crime itself,” he said. “She never made a sentencing recommendation so there is no constitutional violation. In fact, there was nothing more than what the jury already heard during her testimony in the guilt phase about the crime itself. They are not entitled to some sort of limiting instruction.”

Unklesbay asserted that Gonzalez has the right to talk to the jury about how this crime had affected her and her family. “Ms. Gonzalez can rightfully get up before a jury and talk to them about how Mr. Bush’s actions, what he did and how she was affected, and that’s what she did,” he said. “There is no prohibition for her to talk about what the defendant did.”

Challenge

Unklesbay challenged the defense to point out the portions of the victim impact statement that were in violation of case law. Kimminau replied that the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Payne vs. Tennessee limits the scope of a victim impact statement and he pointed out several places in the statement that were in violation of case law. “She states ‘When the defendants came to may door my husband opened the door thinking everything would be okay,’” Kimminau said. “It goes on and does nothing but describe the crime all the way through including such statements as ‘close enough to almost blow her face completely off.’ That has nothing to do with the impact of the crime on her family.”

Kimminau pointed to another portion of the victim impact statement. “It goes on to say ‘What could a 9-year-old have possibly done to deserve being shot like that?’” he argued. “What does that have to do with the victim or the victim’s impact on the family?”

Kimminau continued to read examples of the victim impact statement by Gonzales. “’I don’t understand how someone could have so much hate in their heart,’” he said. “Who is she referring to there?”

“She is referring to herself and the impact on her,” Leonardo interjected. “In the line before that says ‘I had a difficult time trying to direct my grieving for both of them because it was so overwhelming.’ Then she goes on to describe what she witnessed.”

Aggravating factors

Kimminau argued that the jury need only be concerned with the aggravating factors that made Bush eligible to receive the death penalty. “You should be instructing the jury that anything about the crime other than the aggravating factors themselves cannot be considered,” Kimminau replied. “She interjected ‘the horrific murders.’ That’s inappropriate because that’s now commenting on the crime itself.”

Kimminau then requested a mistrial be declared for the sentencing phase of the proceedings. “She goes on with the most appalling of everything and I’m moving for a mistrial ‘It’s hard for me to understand how this all happened. I have so many questions that will remain unanswered. I just want to know why you chose to exchange my husband’s and daughter’s lives for a souvenir that you had bragged about like you had won a medal for what you had done to my family,’” Kimminau said. “That is a mistrial right there. That is so prejudicial, totally inappropriate, clearly not dealing with the victim, clearly directed toward the defendant, directed towards the defendant’s actions and his actions afterwards.”

Kimminau told Leonardo that there is an aggravating factor in statute that applies, but that it was not alleged by the prosecution. “There is an aggravating factor for relishing, your honor,” he said. “That aggravating factor wasn’t presented nor was it proven.”

Leonardo denied the motion for a mistrial expressing some concerns. “It is some cause for concern to the extent that the statements reference the nature of the crime and anything about the defendant’s person,” he said. “I think those things are fairly minimal. Based on that I don’t think there’s enough prejudice to justify a mistrial so that motion is denied.”

Monday, April 04, 2011

Another good day for flying in southern Arizona

A lone hot air balloon floats over my neighborhood in the area of Kinney and Ajo on the southwest side of Tucson. 

Friday, April 01, 2011

Jason Bush’s brother suggests there is more to be learned


Don N. Bush
(Facebook)

The defense in the Pima County Superior Court trial for convicted double-murderer Jason Eugene Bush had anticipated testimiony next Tuesday from the defendant’s father Don Bush.

Based upon comments at the end of testimony on Friday morning it appears the only testimony anticipated next Tuesday will come from Dr. Marc Walter, a neuropsychologist from Phoenix, who is expected to testify that the defendant meets the criteria for paranoid schizophrenia.

On March 25, the jury returned guilty verdicts against Bush, 36, on two counts of first-degree murder in the May 30, 2009 deaths of Raul “Junior” Flores and his daughter, Brisenia, 9, at their home in Arivaca. The jury further found that the murders were premeditated and were also committed while Bush was engaged in other felony activities, including 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.

Following that the jury confirmed that aggravating factors existed which make Bush eligible for the death penalty in this case.

While I may not be able to write about Don Bush Sr. testifying next week I am able to write about Don Bush Jr. courtessy of an email that showed up in my inbox.

“My name is Don Bush, and I am Jason’s older brother,” the email started. “I have been following your blog coverage of the Forde trial, as well as Jason’s, and I have found your’s to have so far been the copy not obviously siphoned from the same pool. And, as such is my reason for having your blog on as home page for both PC and BlackBerry, I have a growing number of irritatingly unanswered questions.”

Bush’s email attempted to pay me a compliment before getting to the point. “As a regular at the courthouse, I’m sure you must be either in the ‘know,’ or simply have a sense of pride and truly enjoy what you do, which is what made your angle stand out,” the email continued. “I would like to talk with you at your earliest convenience, and hear what, if any sort of sense can be made of the jabbing sense of there is a lot more than what has come out, and I don’t follow broadcast media, and am for the most part a hermit, with a once a week journey, to town for groceries and cigarettes, and bare minimum of 50 miles round trip.”

It appears that Bush discovered my Facebook profile which includes a comment about an ongoing job search. “Having also read on your profile that you are ‘open to opportunities,’ and as much as I am as well, I would be interested in the ability to offer to you, any sort of assistance that would afford both of us the most potential for ‘providing the harbor for our ships to come in,’” the email said. “And, if there were to be a dollar finding its way to my wallett, I would want that dollar to be shared with Gina Gonzalez, as I don't know what else I can do to help undo what Jason has ripped away from her.”

Bush did suggest in writing that his brother deserves whatever penalty he receives. “I am in no way trying to soften anything that he has coming to him,” he wrote. “I am just sickened that someone who is born of the same blood, and has just 21months separating him from being a growth on my ass, can do the shit he has done.”

Bush pointed out that the state of Washington may want to try his brother in at least one unsolved murder. “You aint even heard it all yet. Washington state is up to bat next,” he wrote. “You might think about how to be ‘open to the opportunities’ that might be found by a respected, impartial media relations rep from the county where Jason was finally stopped.”

Bush appeared to propose a collaborative arrangement on a book about his younger brother. “We both know I could guide and help locate the persons that would be obscure or seem insignificant enough to not be of real value in a courtroom, but for instance-(little teaser) have you heard of the ‘Aryan Attorney,’ Edgar Steele; who is just heading to trial, for allegedly hiring a ‘hit-man,’ Larry Fairfax, to kill his wife and mother-in-law, and a pipe bomb with no detonater was found under her SUV, at a quickee lube?” the email said. “Now guess who lived on the same private road/driveway as mom, Jason and I? And it was Larry’s house Jason robbed,and stole guns from.”

Bush left thing at that point. “Anyway, I will get off your leg and back to what you were doing. Feel free to contact me any time,” the email said. “I haven’t been sleeping well the most of the last year, so late hours aren’t gonna bother me.”

Bush’s ex-wife and father-in-law add their two cents


The former wife of Jason Eugene Bush told a Pima County Superior Court jury on Friday that she wasn’t fooled by the fantasy military career he had created for himself.
Jason Bush
Pool photo by
Dean Knuth,
Arizona Daily Star 

Last Friday, the jury returned guilty verdicts against Bush, 36, on two counts of first-degree murder in the May 30, 2009 deaths of Raul “Junior” Flores and his daughter, Brisenia, 9, at their home in Arivaca. The jury further found that the murders were premeditated and were also committed while Bush was engaged in other felony activities, including 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.

Following that the jury confirmed that aggravating factors existed which make Bush eligible for the death penalty in this case.

Ex-wife

Decolia Cox testified that she had met Bush in 2006 when they both were living in Idaho. “I was working at a convenience store at the time and he was one of the customers,” she said.

Cox has two sons and a daughter from a previous marriage, none with Bush. Cox testified that Bush had always been kind to here children during the period of time they were together. By the time Cox and Bush had married on April 1, 2008, they had moved to her father’s farm on the Brazos River near Waco, Texas.

Cox also testified that Bush had told her that he had once been a master sergeant  in the U.S. Army. “He had told me that,” she said.

Cox testified that she was skeptical of that claim. “I had been married to someone in the military and know kind of what everything looked like, but I never told him that I didn’t believe it,” she added.

Cox testified she had seen the certificates and letters testified to by Melinda (Shelton) Williams on Thursday, but that she thought they were bogus as well. Under cross examination she was asked to amplify her thoughts. “It really didn’t become a major concern for me,” she said.

On direct examination, Cox was asked if she was aware of Bush’s criminal record. “The only time I knew he had been incarcerated was in 1997,” she testified.

Move to Texas

They moved to Texas from Idaho due to the state of her father’s health and the health of Bush who had suffered a blow to the head. “I was taking care of both of them,” she said. “He was hit in the head with an impact wrench.”

The results of the head injury included an estimated dozen seizures and difficulty walking. Cox was asked if Bush might have been faking the seizures. “He was foaming at the mouth and my next door neighbor was a nurse. She had come out to help me get him into the car,” Cox testified. “He seemed to be more disoriented and easily became angry with the situation. He couldn’t walk. He was unable to focus on certain things, just day-to-day activities.”

Cox and Bush separated in August 2008 when he moved to northwest Arizona. There were discussions of reconciliation until she found out from a third party that Bush was living with Williams in Meadview. Cox filed for and was granted a divorce while Bush was lodged at the jail awaiting trial.

Following Cox to the witness stand was her father Daryl Cox. Cox testified about Bush’s health. “I took him to several doctors,” he said. “He had seizures and needed medical attention. He had a seizure one time when we were in the emergency room. He was jerking with his eyes rolled up in his head. He slobbered and was totally out of control.”

Cox was asked about his observations of Bush’s demeanor. “He became angry, quite easily, when his medication was wearing off,” he said. “One time there was some problem with the television. He cut the cord with a pair of scissors while it was plugged in and he threw it through the window of the trailer. Another time he got upset with the kids and he threw the aquarium, with the fish and everything, out the other side of the trailer.”

Bush defense teams plans a motion seeking a mistrial


Prior to the conclusion, next week, of the sentencing phase in the Pima County Superior Court death penalty trial for Jason Eugene Bush, Judge John S. Leonardo will be asked to declare a mistrial in this phase of the proceedings.

Last Friday, the jury returned guilty verdicts on two counts of first-degree murder in the May 30, 2009 deaths of Raul “Junior” Flores and his daughter, Brisenia, 9, at their home in Arivaca. The jury further found that the murders were premeditated and were also committed while Bush was engaged in other felony activities, including 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.

Following that the jury confirmed that aggravating factors existed which make Bush eligible for the death penalty in this case.

Mistrial motion?

Testimony on behalf of the defense ended shortly after 11 a.m. Friday when the potential motion was mentioned during a discussion of proposed final instructions for the jury. “My learned co-counsel is going to draft a very sophisticated closing instruction on the issue of victim impact because of the statement that was given by Ms. Gonzalez,” Defense counsel Richard Parrish told Leonardo.

“If you are going to suggest an additional instruction I ask that you get it to the court no later than Monday so that I can deal with it,” Leonardo replied.

Defense counsel Chris Kimminau said he was waiting for a transcript of the victim impact statement read to the jury on Thursday by Gonzalez. “I will be filing a motion for a mistrial no later than Tuesday along with an instruction,” he told Leonardo.

Jason Bush
Pool photo by Dean
Knuth, Arizona Daily Star
No allocution

In this phase of the trial, defendants are provided an opportunity to allocate to the jury regarding the crimes they have been convicted of committing. “Mr. Bush, you understand that you have a right to make a statement as a part of your defense in this matter at this stage,” Leonardo asked the defendant. “Yes sir,” Bush replied.

“Have you had an opportunity to discus that right with your attorneys?” Leonardo asked Bush. “Yes sir,” Bush replied.

“You have decided and agree with them that it’s in your best interests not to do so?” Leonardo asked. “Yes sir,” Bush replied.

Mom testifies

Testifying on behalf of her son, Friday, was Ellen Bower, Bush’s birth mother. Parrish asked Bower about his client’s father and his service in the U.S. Army in Vietnam. Parrish was particularly interested in the claim by Don Bush that he had been exposed to Agent Orange. It was that exposure that Bower feels may have affected her son. “Problems with his demeanor started showing up about 18-months of age,” she testified. “Just running continually into one thing after another and not understanding what no meant. It was a standing joke in our family, it wasn’t a humorous joke, that the terrible twos started at 18-months and he never grew out of it.”

“Lasted into 8, 9 10-years-old?” Parrish asked. “19, 20, 21,” Bower replied. “35, 36, 37,” Parrish asked, rhetorically.

After Bower had been divorced from Don Bush, she testified that her son’s behavior at the age of 10-years-old became an issue. “Jason’s behavior had gotten so out of control. He was lighting fires in a tree house and yelling obscenities at the neighbor ladies,” she testified. “The neighbors were threatening to have him taken away by child protective services.”

At that point, Bush went to live with his father where he continued to get into trouble, this time with the law. “I heard that he had been shooting BB guns at cars and taking mail out of mailboxes,” she testified.

Bower was told by her ex-husband that evaluations of her son had been done. “He was determined to not have a conscious or the ability to tell right from wrong,” she related to the jury.

Bower said she was told that the only way in which her son could receive the treatment he needed was for him to be surrendered to the custody of the state. “Neither he nor I had the means to provide that kind of medical care,” she testified. “I had to legally sign papers that gave them custody of him.”

Admission records

Bush was placed in the Mid-Columbia Mental Health Center in November 1985 at the age of 11 “due to escalating oppositional behavior to his father and teachers at school along with increasing criminal behavior,” Deputy County Attorney Kellie Johnson read from a report about Bush.

The report continued. “There was no evidence of thought disorder. He was not treated with medications. He was released from Mid-Columbia Mental Health Center and placed at the Crisis Residential Center,” Johnson read.

Bush was placed into a group home in December 1985. “So he spent one month at this mental institution?” Johnson asked Bower. “That’s what it looks like,” Bower replied. “They found there was not mental illness to treat and they put him in the group home,” Johnson asked, rhetorically.

Sexual abuse

About a year after relinquishing her parental rights, Bower heard that her son had been abused in state facilities. “I did get a call from one of the counselors there who told me that Jason had been raped while in the group home,” she said.

Bower was able to secure her son’s release from the state facility allowing him to return to her home at the age of 13. At that point, a male friend of Bower’s took an interest in Bush teaching him welding, horseback riding, water skiing, and blacksmithing. “He traded his own labor to another guy who was a master blacksmith so that Jason could continue his blacksmithing training,” she said.

Bower said her son attended public school for a short time until he got into trouble. “They kicked him off the school bus for misbehaving,” she testified. “He got on his motorbike and put his .410 shotgun across his back and went ripping up the road after the school bus and terrified everybody.”

Following his expulsion from school, his mother home schooled Bush. Then her son was placed into a program dealing with alcohol and drug problems, in essence a reform school.

Is he capable?

Bower was asked if she believed her son was capable of killing 9-year-old Brisenia Flores. “If he managed to do that somehow then there is another monster running around inside of Jason that I have never, ever seen a hint of,” she said.