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Home Crime & Punishment Albert Gaxiola sentenced to “natural life” plus 54 years in prison
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Albert Gaxiola sentenced to “natural life” plus 54 years in prison

Published on 08/16/2011 by
Brisenia Flores final school picture

9 year old Brisenia Flores, brutally murdered on orders from Minuteman Shawna Forde, has finally received justice with the conviction and sentencing of Albert Gaxiola

Pima County Superior Court Judge John S. Leonardo sentenced convicted murderer Albert Robert Gaxiola yesterday to natural life in the Arizona Department of Corrections for the May 30, 2009, murder of 9-year-old Brisenia Flores during the home invasion murder spree in Arivaca, led by Minuteman Shawna Forde.

This brings to an end, the case that for a moment in time, took peoples minds and thoughts away from the hatred of Hispanics, both legal and illegal, and for a moment, focused on the murder of an innocent 9 year old child and her father in a small, dusty,town in southern Arizona.

Shawna Forde Inmate #260830

Shawna Forde Inmate #260830 official portrait courtesy of ASPC- Perryville

Inmate 263277 Jason Bush Death Row mugshot

Inmate 263277 Jason Bush Death Row mugshot

Minuteman Shawna Forde and her triggerman, Aryan wannabe Jason Eugene Bush were sentenced to death x 2 for the murders plus 65 and 78 years respective additional time for the associated crimes. They are currently on Arizona’s death row beginning their first round of appeals.

The sentences for Gaxiola played out like this.

  •  Count 1—First-Degree Murder—natural life in prison, with no chance of parole.
  • Count 2—First-Degree Murder—life in prison, with chance to apply for parole after serving 25 calendar years.
  • Count 3—Burglary in the First Degree—10.5 years.
  • Count 4—Attempted First-Degree Murder—10.5 years.
  • Count 5—Aggravated Assault, Serious Physical Injury—7.5 years.
  •  Count 6—Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon—7.5 years.
  •  Count 7—Armed Robbery—10.5 years.
  • Count 8—Aggravated Robbery—7.5 years.
These sentences will be served consecutively, meaning one must be finished before time begins on the next.  This will effectively keep Gaxiola in prison for the rest of his miserable life or until another inmate introduces a shiv in his back.
Albert Gaxiola Day 1 of capital murder trial, looking a little like Lawman Barney Fife. (Credit - Pool Photo by Mamta Popat/ Arizona Daily Star)

Albert Robert Gaxiola (pool photo by Mamta Popat/ Arizona Daily Star)

Some have been asking why Gaxiola didn’t get the same sentence as Forde and Bush, and at first, we thought it odd too. Some idiots, have even suggested Gaxiola got preferential treatment because he was Hispanic, which is hogwash.
Truth is as we see it, Gaxiola lucked out in two ways. The jury he drew or that was selected seemed disinclined to pass a death sentence, even though they heard essentially the same evidence, the same witnesses as were presented in the other two trials, and two, he had some pretty decent lawyers. But in the end, who got the worst deal? Forde and Bush who sit in solitary facing the death penalty or Gaxiola, who’ll be in general population looking over his back never knowing where or when his final punishment will be meted out.
David Ricker, who has covered these trials from the courtroom wrote what I consider an excellent wrap-up of the case, if you can ignore the typos and lack of use of his spellchecker and revealed some things I didn’t even know, which might put the guilt of the players into perspective.
So that is the end of the Arivaca murder case for now. All that’s left is the appeals which have started for Forde and Bush and will run for decades. Gaxiola’s lawyers have indicated they will appeal his conviction also.
At the end of the day, a beautiful young girl, with a lifetime of potential before her and her father are dead, or as Ricker puts it, “at eternal rest while 2 of her three murderers face uncertain futures”. A mother has lost her husband and daughter, and families torn apart, and for what? Financial gain and greed and the desire of one egomaniac  to establish a clandestine organization on the Arizona border to hunt and kill Mexicans.

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3 Comments  comments 

3 Responses

  1. Anonymous

    Sadly Junior Flores’ brother is reported to still be smuggling drugs in the same area.  I don’t think anyone of them were too broken up about the death of Brisenia.

  2. I have thought a lot about Shawna and Jason being on death row. I am shocked that Gaxiola got off with life, but then that means he will be in the general population so he might live less than the other two. Do you ever wonder what it is like for the other two to sit in a locked cell 23 hrs. a day with no tv or anything to do? I think they have it harder than Gaxiola. That doesn’t mean they deserve anyless. It kills me when I think about my daughter. I would like to write her and just talk to her as mother to daughter but I can’t do that. But I think about never seeing anything beautiful again, never going into a shop and buying pretty clothes or make up, the things that makes us women. I feel so sad that she made the choices she made. What do you do with yourself 24 hours a day with nothing to look at and nothing to do? Go crazy? I think the ones on death row have it harder, even though they put themselves there.What do you think Porter?

  3. I have thought a lot about Shawna and Jason being on death row. I am shocked that Gaxiola got off with life, but then that means he will be in the general population so he might live less than the other two. Do you ever wonder what it is like for the other two to sit in a locked cell 23 hrs. a day with no tv or anything to do? I think they have it harder than Gaxiola. That doesn’t mean they deserve anyless. It kills me when I think about my daughter. I would like to write her and just talk to her as mother to daughter but I can’t do that. But I think about never seeing anything beautiful again, never going into a shop and buying pretty clothes or make up, the things that makes us women. I feel so sad that she made the choices she made. What do you do with yourself 24 hours a day with nothing to look at and nothing to do? Go crazy? I think the ones on death row have it harder, even though they put themselves there.What do you think Porter?