EVERETT — A former associate of convicted double-murderer and border-watch activist Shawna Forde has been found dead under an I-5 overpass in Everett.
Oin Oakstar had testified against Forde during her trial in Pima County, Arizona, for the May 2009 shooting deaths of a 9-year-old girl and her father. Forde was convicted and sentenced to death in 2011.
Oakstar’s identity was released Saturday by the Snohomish County Medical Examiner’s Office. The 43-year-old Arizona man was found Wednesday under the 41st Street overpass near I-5. Death investigators are waiting on further tests to determine the cause.
“We can’t conclude anything until they finish up that investigation,” Everett Police Officer Aaron Snell said. “That doesn’t mean that it’s suspicious.”
It wasn’t clear what had brought the southern Arizona native to the Pacific Northwest.
Forde initially drew attention to herself in 2007, when she ran unsuccessfully for the Everett City Council on an anti-illegal-immigration platform. Her bizarre string of violence started in Everett with her then-husband’s shooting just before Christmas 2008, and continued in the Arizona border town of Arivaca. On May 30, 2009, she was involved in a home-invasion robbery that ended in the deaths of Raul Flores, his daughter, Brisenia, 9, and the near-fatal shooting of the girl’s mother. The woman fought off the intruders in a gun battle.
A jury decided Forde deserved a death sentence after hearing testimony that she planned the robbery as part of a scheme to fund her dreams of running a group that would use violence to target drug traffickers and illegal immigrants. Forde was the leader of her own Minuteman border-watch group.
Oakstar had planned to be part of the raid but was too drunk to participate.
The hulking, heavily tattooed ex-con was arrested within hours of the murders after people in town directed suspicions his way. He was known to have had a long-simmering rivalry with Flores.
Oakstar testified against Forde and the others after reaching a plea agreement that spared him prison on a weapons charge. He told authorities that he was arrested after walking home from a meeting with Forde and the others, who had asked him to supply them with pain pills for Jason Bush, who had been wounded in the gun battle with Flores’ wife.
Before the raid, he’d taken Forde and Bush on a scouting trip past the Flores family home. He testified that he wasn’t happy about what happened to the family.
Forde and Bush are on Arizona’s death row, pursuing appeals. A third suspect, Albert Gaxiola, was convicted and sentenced to life in prison without release.
Noah Haglund: 425-339-3465, email@example.com. Twitter: @NWhaglund.
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