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Shawna Forde talked of plans in Syria

The Everett woman accused of two murders had plans to rescue hostages and move to Syria, one co-defendant says.

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By Scott North
Herald Writer
EVERETT -- An Everett woman charged with two murders in Arizona not only allegedly was planning crimes to fund her own border-watch group, but also reportedly had discussed using the money to form her own international private security company.
That's what a co-defendant of Shawna Forde, 41, told detectives June 11 when he was arrested in connection with the killings, Pima County, Ariz., sheriff's Lt. Michael O'Connor said Wednesday.
Jason Eugene Bush, 34, not only implicated Forde as having planned a fatal May 30 home-invasion robbery in Arivaca, Ariz., Bush also explained that the intent was to raise money to fund their group, Minutemen American Defense, O'Connor said.
And there were other ideas, too.
"Part of the reason they were doing this was to gain money and also to expand into ventures to include a private security firm to go internationally to recover people who had been kidnapped," O'Connor said detectives were told.
Forde herself reportedly had discussed plans for a security company with her family before her arrest.
Forde, Bush and Albert Gaxiola, 42, all are jailed in Tucson, Ariz., on murder charges. Each has been indicted in the deaths of Raul Flores, 29, and his daughter Brisenia, 9.
The father and daughter were killed when intruders dressed in camouflage uniforms took over their home while posing as law officers and then suddenly opened fire. The girl's mother also was shot, but she managed to arm herself with a handgun and drive the attackers away after a gun battle.
Court papers obtained by the Green Valley News and Sun newspaper in Arizona say Bush allegedly confessed to the killings. The documents also allege Forde and Gaxiola "are believed to be the ones who picked the house, initiated the crime and directed the shootings."
The documents were filed by Pima County prosecutors seeking high bail for the trio.
Forde was arrested on June 12. By then, records show, she'd been a suspect in the killings for about 10 days -- something only Forde, police and a handful of her confidants knew.
Forde's mother, Rena Caudle of California, wasn't aware her daughter had been linked to the Arivaca killings when, on June 10, she e-mailed The Herald to report that Forde had just called to tell her that she planned to soon leave for Syria.
Caudle said Forde told her that she and others in her group had decided they were going to start a private security company and attempt to make a living by rescuing people who had been taken hostage in the Middle East.
Forde "was also saying that anybody in the world (who) wants anything done they come to her. She is certainly full of it," Caudle wrote at the time.
On Wednesday, Caudle said she didn't know what to make of what Forde said, in part because she often exaggerated and told lies. Her daughter also had spoken of potentially robbing drug traffickers operating along the border between the United States and Mexico.
On May 30, just hours after the Arivaca killings, Forde also phoned Caudle and suggested that she was somehow targeted as a potential victim in the crime.
Caudle said she she's heartsick over the acts Forde is accused of having orchestrated.
"I don't condone murder. I don't condone killing children. I don't condone any kind of crimes," Caudle said.
Scott North: 425-339-3431,
Story tags » EverettCrimePoliceRobbery

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