TUCSON, Ariz. – A third defendant convicted in the deaths of a southern Arizona girl and her father has been sentenced.
Albert Gaxiola was sentenced Monday to two life terms in the 2009 deaths of 9-year-old Brisenia Flores and her father, 29-year-old Raul Junior Flores.
The Arizona Daily Star reports (http://bit.ly/r4Mdii) the 44-year-old Arivaca resident was convicted last month of murder. The jurors spared Gaxiola the death penalty for the murder of Junior Flores, but could not reach a unanimous decision as to his punishment in the girl's death.
Prosecutors decided to leave Gaxiola's punishment up to Pima County Superior Court Judge John Leonardo.
Authorities believe Gaxiola recruited Shawna Forde and Jason Bush to kill Flores because of a drug-smuggling feud. Forde and Bush were both sentenced to death row earlier this year.