Witness denies role in Arivaca slayings
This is the trial of the third defendant in the murders of Brisenia and Junior Flores. The two prior defendants have been sentenced to death.
Arivaca resident Eddie Valdez acknowledged Tuesday that he was once a prolific drug smuggler, but he denied being in the drug trade in May 2009 or orchestrating the death of Raul Junior Flores, 29.
Valdez, 35, was called to the stand by defense attorneys for Albert Gaxiola, who is charged with first-degree murder in the deaths of Flores and his 9-year-old daughter, Brisenia. Gaxiola is also charged with attempted first-degree murder in the shooting of Flores’ wife, Gina Gonzalez.
Prosecutors Rick Unklesbay and Kellie Johnson have told jurors the evidence will show Gaxiola wanted to remove Flores as a competitor in the drug trade and recruited Shawna Forde and Jason Bush to assist him.
Prosecutors presented evidence [Shawna] Forde agreed to participate in the slayings so she could use Flores’ drugs and money to fund her border watch group.
The trial continues next week. The judge is taking part in some conference this week.