crimesider

Shawna Forde death sentence: Ariz. anti-immigrant activist condemned to die for killing father, daughter

Defendant Shawna Forde listens during opening arguments in her murder trial in Pima County Superior Court in Tucson, Ariz., Jan. 25, 2011. (AP Photo)
Shawna Forde Update: Tucson jury sentences Ariz. border activist to death
Shawna Forde
AP Photo, file

(CBS/KOLD/AP) TUCSON, Ariz. - Shawna Forde, the border activist and leader of an anti-illegal immigrant group, has been sentenced to death in the 2009 home invasion that left a 9-year-old girl and her father dead.

The Pima County Attorney's Office said the Tucson jury returned the death penalty verdict against Forde, making her the third woman on Arizona's death row.

The jury deliberated three days, after finding the 42-year-old guilty of two counts of first-degree murder last week.

Prosecutors said Forde led a May 2009 home invasion in Aravica, a desert community about 10 miles north of Mexico, that killed 29-year old Raul Flores and his 9-year-old daughter Brisenia, reports CBS affiliate KOLD.

Forde and two accomplices broke into the Flores home, claiming to be police officers who were looking for fugitives. When Flores questioned their story, prosecutors said the men opened fire, killing Flores and his daughter.

The girl's mother, Gina Gonzalez, called 911 after witnessing the crime. While she was on the phone, prosecutors said the suspects returned to finish her off. She survived after a gun battle with her attackers.

Forde is the leader of the Minutemen American Defense, a small border watch group, and prosecutors contend that she planned the attack to help fund her anti-immigrant operations.

Flores was believed to be involved with drug trafficking, police say, but officers don't think the assailants found much cash or drugs in the home.

Click here for complete coverage of Shawna Forde on Crimesider.