The two Washington white supremacists charged in the double murder of a Latino father and daughter in Arizona won't be going to court this year after all. The trial of Jason Bush of Wenatchee has now been moved to next March while his co-defendant, former Seattle prostitute and Everett city council candidate Shawna Forde is expected to stand trial in January. But legal maneuverings and new developments may mean further delays: Bush is apparently ratting out Forde and a third co-conspirator, drug dealer Albert Gaxiola, who may be ratting out each other. Forde also surprisingly showed up in court yesterday, the first time since her arraignment for the May 2009 homicides, revealing that the onetime blonde Minuteman leader has turned brunette in stir.
Two FBI informants who say they tipped off the agency in advance of the slayings at Flores trailer home will be allowed to testify at the trials. But if Bush, who has apparently confessed to his role in the slayings, works a plea deal, he could be the prosecution's primary witness.
Known as Gunny, Bush is suspected of five likely race-related murders and an attempted murder. They include the 1997 slayings of a homeless Mexican man in Wenatchee - knifed on the streets - and a teenager from East Wenatchee - shot in the back and head. The teen was white but Bush allegedly considered him a "traitor to his race," according to Chelan County authorities.
Forde's appearance in court yesterday - she apparently never said a word - was so rare it merited a mention in the Arizona Daily Star. Gaxiola was also present but "Jason Bush, as usual, refused to allow deputies to bring him to court," reports Kim Smith.
I'm pretty sure it's the first time Forde has appeared "live" in the courtroom. (Her  arraignment was via video.) According to court documents, she's been reluctant to appear in court for fear potential jurors will get a bad impression of her wearing prison scrubs.
The former blonde is now a brunette and she was wearing both the black and white striped scrubs people in administrative segregation wear and the more typical orange outfit (underneath.)
Forde's appearance was such a surprise, Smith noted, there were no photographers there to capture the moment.