Gunman in Forde case has ‘unusually deviant’ brain

TUCSON, Ariz. — A Pima County Superior Court jury is hearing testimony as they decide whether a second defendant convicted in a fatal Arizona home invasion in 2009 should be executed for his role in the deaths of a man and his daughter.

Jurors have determined that Jason Eugene Bush, 36, of Washington, is eligible for the death penalty after they convicted him during the capital-murder trial.

Robert Crago, a Tucson psychologist, testified Thursday that an electrical activity test of Bush’s brain showed brain activity is exceptionally slow and that parts of his brain aren’t in sync, according to the Arizona Daily Star.

There was only a 1-in-100,000 chance of finding such an “unusually deviant” brain, the doctor testified.

Bush was convicted March 25 of two counts of first-degree murder in the May 30, 2009, deaths of 29-year-old Raul Flores and Flores’ 9-year-old daughter in Arivaca, south of Tucson. Prosecutors alleged that he and two others dressed as law enforcement officers and forced their way into the victims’ home.

Defense attorney Richard Parrish pleaded with jurors to remember their promise to keep an open mind during the mitigation phase of the trial.

He told jurors they will hear evidence that Bush has been incorrigible since he was 2 and that his parents legally disowned him at 11 and committed him to a mental institution where he was sexually abused by older boys.

Parrish said Bush has been in and out of jail and prison, where he never received the help he needed.

One of his co-defendants, Shawna Forde, was sentenced to death Feb. 14. She’s since been moved to a women’s prison outside Phoenix.

Albert Gaxiola goes on trial June 1.

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