Start of Arivaca-killings trial delayed
I’m pretty sure they meant “right wing”.
Jury selection in the death-penalty trial of Shawna Forde, accused in a 2009 double-killing in Arivaca, has been postponed until next week.
Although Pima County Superior Court Judge John Leonardo denied a defense request to continue the trial at a hearing Monday, he granted a request Tuesday upon learning a medical issue had arisen in one of the attorneys’ families.
In light of the medical issue and the discussions held Monday, Leonardo said he had decided “the atmosphere is not conducive to going forward.”
Jury selection will begin next Wednesday.
Defense attorney Jill Thorpe initially asked for a postponement because she feared jurors would draw parallels between the Forde case and the weekend’s shooting of several people, including U.S. District Judge John M. Roll and U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.
Forde is charged with first-degree murder in the May 2009 killings of Raul Flores and his daughter, Brisenia, at their Arivaca home.
Authorities contend Forde thought Flores was a drug dealer and recruited a group to raid his house for drugs, cash and guns to help fund her border protection group.
In both this past weekend’s shootings and in the Arivaca case, 9-year-old girls were slain, and the suspects are alleged to have ties to the “ring wing,” [sic] Thorpe said in her motion to postpone the trial.
“The defense urges that this community - a community who will be deciding Ms. Forde’s guilt or innocence, and if convicted whether she should receive the death penalty - needs some time to heal and for any ‘dots’ that might be connected between the January 8 events and Ms. Forde to subside,” Thorpe wrote in her motion.