Photos of Shawna Forde, both from the Pima County Sherriff's office.
WENATCHEE, Wash. (CBS/AP)
First, it was a home invasion by anti-illegal immigration "extremists" that left a 9-year-old girl and her Hispanic father dead last month in order to raise money for their cause.
Now, it is looking like the three people charged in that case have a long history of running on the wrong side of the law and leaving a trail of Hispanic victims in their wake.
Jason Eugene Bush, 34, Shawna Forde, 41, and Albert Robert Gaxiola, 42, have been charged for the deaths of the father and his daughter- with two counts each of first-degree murder, according to the Pima County Sheriff's Office.
A sheriff in Arizona has said the trio wanted to steal money to fund operations of Forde's Minutemen American Defense, an anti-illegal immigration group. The trio dressed as law enforcement officers and forced their way into the home about 10 miles north of the Mexican border in rural Arivaca, authorities allege. Forde has denied involvement in the Arizona home invasion.
Now a second case has emerged. A murder charge was filed Friday in Washington Superior Court against Jason Eugene Bush in the stabbing death of Hector Lopez Partida, a homeless man that was sleeping under a blanket behind a store in the early morning hours of July 24, 1997. After being stabbed seven times, he managed to walk to a nearby parking lot, then collapsed.
An informant told police that Bush bragged about killing "a Mexican" behind a store and that Bush had ties to white supremacist groups, according to court documents. Prosecutors say he was linked to the death through DNA evidence.
Authorities allege Bush and Forde also had connections to a Washington state anti-illegal immigration group that conducts border watches in Arizona.
The backstory of this trio gets even more interesting. The Seattle Times is reporting that last December, Forde's estranged husband was attacked and shot by a stranger in his Washington residence. "A week later," the Times reports, "Forde claimed on her Web site that she had been beaten with a bat, cut with a knife and raped by three attackers who spoke Spanish and wrote the number 13 on her floor. A few weeks later, Forde, a self-styled anti-immigration crusader, was found by police in an Everett alleyway, suffering from what she claimed was a gunshot wound to her right forearm. No one was ever arrested in the incidents."
The Times also reports that police in California also are looking into whether the trio are connected to another home-invasion robbery on June 8 in Shasta Lake, Calif. Apparently, friends of Forde's biological mother, were "robbed at gunpoint by two men in U.S. Marshals uniforms who bound their wrists with cable ties and took a large amount of cash."
Shawna Forde, with others, at a 2006 protest.
(AP Photo/The Bellingham Herald)
The murdered man in the most recent case, according to Sheriff Dupnik, "...has a history of being involved in narcotics and there was an anticipation that there would be a considerable amount of cash at this location as well as the possibility of drugs."
Jason Eugene Bush was arrested at a Kingman, Ariz., hospital where he was being treated for a leg wound he reportedly received when the woman who survived the attack managed to get a gun and fire back.
In the Wenatchee, Washington, case, arriving officers asked the victim who had hurt him. He muttered the words: "Gavachos (white guys)." He died minutes later.
A bloodstained shirt was found nearby. In 2005, DNA extracted from the shirt matched Bush's, who had a lengthy criminal record in Washington and had served time in prison there.
The Minutemen American Defense Web site, now taken down, had said Forde, who has been living recently in Arizona, is the group's leader and Bush goes by the nickname "Gunny" is its operations director. She was once associated with the better known and larger Minuteman Civil Defense Corps.
The web site has been replaced by a statement attributed to officers of Forde's group. The message disassociates the group from Forde and Bush.
"MAD is not responsible for the independent actions or the private agenda by Shawna Forde and her cohorts that is not a part of MAD's normal operating procedures," the message read. "Shawna acted totally on her own person agenda and has caused a lot of pain embarrassment and humiliation to the total Minutemen movement and fellow members of MAD."
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June 15, 2009 - Anti-Illegal Immigration "Extremists" Murder Girl And Father, Say Police