Feb. 14, 2011— -- Shawna Forde, a border vigilante, was convicted today of two counts of murder for orchestrating a home invasion that left a 9-year-old Arizona girl and her father dead.
Prosecutors said Forde planned the home invasion to rob Raul "Junior" Flores, who she thought was a drug dealer, to fund her border watch group. There were rumors that Flores, 29, had a stash of $4,000 in cash in the house.
Flores and his daughter Bresenia were both killed in the May 2009 attack at their Arivaca, Ariz., home. His wife, Gina Gonzalez, was shot three times, but survived by playing dead.
In addition to the first-degree murder charges, Forde, 43, founder of Minutemen American Defense, was found guilty 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.
The Pima County Superior Court jury came back with a verdict after it deliberated for seven hours over two days.
The sentencing phase of the trial begins Tuesday. Forde could face the death penalty.
Forde's lawyer had argued that the woman was not in the house when Flores and his daughter were murdered, so she should not be found guilty.
But prosecutors said Forde was with the two men who broke into the Flores home, and Gonzalez testified that she was there.
"She didn't put a gun to Brisenia's head ... but she was the one in charge," Pima County Deputy County Attorney Rick Unklesbay said in closing arguments. "Because of that you must hold her accountable."
Gonzalez, who played dead in the kitchen after being shot three times in the leg, identified one of the three suspects as Forde.