Feb 16, 2011 12:20 AM

Death penalty considered in Shawna Forde trial

TUCSON - The jury in the Shawna Forde case decided Tuesday that she is eligible for the death penalty.

Forde was convicted Monday on two counts of first degree murder in the 2009 home invasion where 9-year old Brisenia Flores and her father Raul Flores were killed.

Brisenia's mother, Gina Gonzales, gave her victim impact statement in court Tuesday.

Gonzales described how that day played out. She described the sounds and the fear she experienced while she lay on her living room floor.

She says her husband answered the door, and he was shot. Gonzales says she could hear her daughter answering questions about the whereabouts of her family, and heard the suspects tell her she would be okay.

But she says then, she heard them shoot 9-year-old Brisenia at close range. She said she regrets not being able to save her.

"I miss my husband, I miss my daughter, I miss my family, I miss my life...and that's all because of a choice she made," Gonzales said.

The defense spoke after Gonzales, telling the jury that Forde has a personality disorder caused by a childhood of abuse, abandonment, and living in 7 different households by the age of 5.

"When we present this evidence, it's not meant to take away from the clear pain that Gina Gonzales suffers from the loss of her family, not just the loss of her husband and her daughter, but how her family as she's described has been destroyed," Jill Thorpe said.

Thorpe said that Forde was molested by her uncle at the age of 4, and later by another man until she was 12-years-old.

The mitigation phase of the trial is expected to continue through this week.


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