Third person convicted in killing of Junior and Brisenia Flores
An Arivaca man was convicted today of being behind a May 2009 home invasion that resulted in the death of a former friend and the friend’s 9-year-old daughter.
It took a Pima County jury five hours to convict Albert Gaxiola, 44, of first-degree murder in the deaths of Raul Junior Flores, 29, and Brisenia Flores. He was also convicted this afternoon of attempting to murder Flores’ wife, Gina Gonzalez, and one count each of burglary, armed robbery and aggravated robbery; and two counts of aggravated assault.
Jurors must now decide if the circumstances of the case warrant consideration of the death penalty. If they say “Yes,” defense attorneys will present mitigation evidence over the next several days.
Prosecutors Rick Unklesbay and Kellie Johnson would argue Gaxiola should join co-defendants Shawna Forde, 43, and Jason Bush, 36, on death row because of Brisenia Flores’ age, the fact more than one murder and serious crime was committed during the same event and the motive was monetary.
Gonzalez told jurors her godmother is Gaxiola’s cousin and while she first met him in 2004, didn’t become friends with him until 2007. She and her husband would have Gaxiola over for dinner or meet him for drinks up until the fall of 2008 when her husband had a falling out with him, Gonzalez said.
Gaxiola then enlisted the help of Forde, who wanted to use any drugs and money found in the various targets’ homes to fund her Minuteman organization.
Kim Smith, who wrote this article, Tweeted this:
Aggravation phase in #albertgaxiola trial to be held Wednesday. Jury sent home.She did another fantastic job of live-Tweeting the trial yesterday and today. Her Twitter address is @KimSmithStar .