-- by Dave
[Video via KOLD-TV.]
One of the prevailing questions about the case of Shawna Forde, even as her trial was getting under way, was whether the mainstream media would bother to notice.
A Washington Post piece actually tried to tackle this very question, but only dropped a little toe into the lava pit:
But unlike the Krentz case, the trial has been a largely local story.
"There's a few places writing about this, but it is not getting the attention it deserves," said Eric Rodriguez, vice president of the National Council of La Raza. "It should be shocking to more people. Is there any circumstance where what took place is acceptable to people?"
Krentz's shooting, which for a time was a staple of news coverage and has been brought up in homeland security hearings on Capitol Hill, struck a nerve in part because of the government's failure to deal with illegal immigration. Arizona, which the Pew Hispanic Center reported this month is home to 400,000 undocumented immigrants, has passed tough legislation in recent months to crack down on those who are in the country illegally.
The trial is now in the hands of the jury, and I haven't yet seen a single cable-network report on the story -- particularly not on Fox News Channel, which has had complete silence on the case. I'm flying down to Tucson tomorrow and will be reporting from the scene when the verdict is delivered. (The project is being funded by the Investigative Fund of the Nation Institute.)
Meanwhile, the local media have done an excellent job of covering the trial, particularly the reporters at the Arizona Daily Star, led by Kim Smith, who wrap up the closing arguments made Thursday:
Shawna Forde thought so highly of herself she believed she could create a new world, decide who was a drug dealer and who wasn't and who should live and die, prosecutor Rick Unklesbay told jurors Thursday.
The truth, however, he said, is, "What Shawna Forde is is a common thief and a murderer."
Unklesbay spent approximately 90 minutes Thursday going over the evidence he says proves Forde, 43, was the mastermind behind a May 30, 2009, Arivaca home invasion that left Raul Junior Flores, 29, and his 9-year-old-daughter, Brisenia, dead of multiple gunshot wounds.
Two other suspects in the case, Jason Bush and Albert Gaxiola, are scheduled to go to trial this spring.
The prosecutor reminded jurors that at least four witnesses testified Forde bragged about her plan to fund her Minutemen American Defense organization by robbing drug-cartel associates during home invasions.
Among those witnesses were her sister, two FBI informants and Oin Oakstar, an Arivaca drug smuggler.
Flores and Brisenia died because of Forde's greed, Unklesbay said.
Forde may not have pulled the trigger, "But make no mistake about it, she's the one who planned the event, recruited the people to do it and she went in there with them," Unklesbay said.
The Daily Star team has also been filing a lot of the details in the trial at their courthouse blog. Definitely worth checking out.
Meanwhile, the folks at Presente have created a website and poster demanding justice for Brisenia Flores:
Go here to sign a petition demanding justice for Brisenia.
[Cross-posted at Crooks and Liars.]