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An Interview With Laine Lawless

by Mark Green, Chairman

The Committee for Justice for Shawna Forde

MG:     What made you decide to file your Motion to Quash?

LL:       I got tired of the prosecutors putting on some big charade that my testimony was essential to their case.  They never wanted me to testify, and I am very weary of letting them steamroller over me.  It was time to fight back.

MG:     How did you feel when your motion was denied?

LL:       At first I was very disappointed.  But then I considered all the lawyers who’ve worked on the last 2 court cases.  Together they have at least 80 years combined experience in criminal law, and not only have they lost all their motions, they lost their cases and their clients ended up on death row!  They are vastly more experienced and much more highly educated than I, so I am honored to be in the company of such a bunch of highly-paid losers.

MG:     Why do you say the prosecutors don’t want your testimony?  Don’t you think you have something worthwhile to say?

LL:            Certainly what I have to say is valuable, but not to them.  While my potential testimony doesn’t exonerate the defendants, it doesn’t go to the extreme the testimony of other witnesses does to imply guilt.  I’ve told the truth all the way down the line, and intend to keep on doing so.  I will say the same thing in court as I said in my original statement, unlike the other witnesses.

MG:     What do you mean?  Have the other witnesses changed their stories?

LL:            (Laughing out loud) Not only have they changed their stories, they’ve changed them multiple times!  Each time there is a media report, the key witnesses have come closer and closer to positively identifying all 3 defendants.  Even the less important witnesses have given testimony that has borne no resemblance to their original statements to PCSO detectives.

MG:     How can you tell this?  What do you know that the mainstream media doesn’t?

LL:       The timeline is important.  I’ve been a civilian observer of all of these cases over a period of 2 years, and I’ve watched eyewitnesses’ assertions progress from “kinda looked like (the perp)” to “yes, it looks just like her” to “yes, it’s definitely Shawna Forde (or Jason Bush/Albert Gaxiola).”  I think the most reliable identification is whatever was taken by the detectives right after the crime occurred. With time memories fade and blur.  Here's an interesting example of how bad eyewitness testimony is.  Oddly, the closer to trial, the more definite, the more elaborate, the more extreme the recall has gotten, which is exactly the opposite of the way things work if the witnesses are telling the truth.  And you don’t have to read the source docs to figure this out--just read the newspapers.  EVERY WITNESS, with a few exceptions, has adjusted their testimony to reflect what the media has printed and what the prosecution wanted to hear them say.

MG:     Why isn’t this progression reflected in the media?  I would think this would be a great story for an investigative journalist!

LL:       Every media article is like a little snapshot in time.  I think that’s why Rush Limbaugh calls them “the drive-by media.”  Whatever is happening at the time they choose to be there is what gets reported.  Each article stands alone, and if you don’t read all the articles, like I have, you have no concept of the continuity of a very fluid situation such as a criminal trial.  The surviving victim, Gina Gonzalez, went from saying the man who stuck his head in the door “sounded like Albert Gaxiola and was his height” after the attack to positively identifying him during Jason Bush’s trial, which was the second trial of the three.  I don’t think there is any investigative journalism any more simply because corporate media won’t pay to have any really scummy people exposed.  Readers would gobble it up, but for local media to expose any government entity in their neighborhood would be sheer suicide.

MG:     Why do you think the witnesses did this?  Were they just mistaken in their minds or did they have ulterior motives?

LL:       It’s possible the witnesses were simply mistaken in their minds.  But usually when someone changes their story, it’s not because they can’t remember, it’s because they are LYING!  Think back to people you’ve known over the years who kept changing their stories…didn’t you know they were lying?  And let’s not forget the fear factor; perhaps the witnesses were threatened.  The government snitches employed by the prosecution must always please their masters.  They were paid for their testimony, plus they all got a free trip or two to Tucson.  Like grateful dogs, don’t you think they’d lick the hand that feeds them?  Finally, if the Arivaca massacre was a drug cartel hit, as we suspect, wouldn’t the surviving witness live in fear of her life and the lives of her surviving family members if she didn’t tell the story the way she was told to?

MG:     So who’s lying?

LL:       Everyone!  Testimony has changed from trial to trial, and could be a good basis for appeal for the convicted defendants.  Not only have lies been told...there are some real whoppers out there! Stories, objects, whole conversations which likely never took place, have been fabricated.  Most everyone, with few exceptions, has been spewing the story the prosecutors want, the official party line, with colorful elaborations, all along.  

MG:     Why do you think Chuck Stonex is lying?

LL:       I think he wants his 15 minutes of fame.  I have no idea why he has it in for the defendants, unless his palm is getting greased with the proverbial 30 pieces of silver.  When this is finally over, no one will care what he says.  He’s such a freak that no Minuteman organization will have anything to do with him, and that’s not because he was associated with Shawna; it’s because of his behavior.  For example, he once shot across the Rio Grande with his AR-15 into Mexico, without provocation.  He’s a loose cannon; no one wants him.  That boy’s just not quite right upstairs.

MG:     Are you concerned about how the media reported on your Motion to Quash the Subpoena?

LL:       Of course, the media came out with
an extremely biased report which insinuated I had taken part in a double homicide.  And then there was the usual report from Kim Smith with multiple factual errors. Taken together, these media smear jobs either paint me as a nutter or an evil co-conspirator, which was the goal.  But I’m calling them the government propagandists they are, and at the same time, I’m thanking them for such wonderfully-biased articles because they  are so blatant.

MG:     What do you mean?  You act as if these articles were some kind of a gift!

LL:       In a way, they are.  These yellow journos exposed themselves and their masters they work for.  I made the point in the courtroom that I was being discriminated against based on the content of what I’ve written in the past, and I cited case law supplied by the Society of Professional Journalists.  I’ve been very critical of all the government entities in Pima County.  The point I’m making is that alternative media is very desperately needed in the courtroom.  Don’t you get tired of every media outlet endlessly repeating the government’s position, and "priming the pump" so that when the defendants get to trial, the deck is already stacked against them?

MG:     It does get tedious.  And if they don’t outright say it, they imply it.

LL:       That’s precisely my point.  As Shawna Forde said, “everything is designed to get a conviction.”  No one sticks up for the defendant, who is supposed to be presumed innocent until proven guilty.  The very last thing the prosecutors want is someone who will be critical of them.  All of what I call “the slave media” in the courtroom know this. The moment they publish one critical word, that’s when their press passes will be revoked.  I can think of one great example:  the Phoenix New Times is banned from press conferences at the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office simply because they have been very critical of Sheriff Joe Arpaio.  While I don’t like their left-wing bias, I agree that one news source should not be discriminated against just because they wrote a story critical of government.

           I also made the point in court that the prosecutor put an enormous amount of pressure on me to share Shawna Forde’s letters with him.  This was a blatant attempt to intimidate me, to see how far the envelope could be pushed, when he had access to copies of them all along!  I continuously maintained that I was willing to go to jail rather than share them with the prosecution.  Just like the “witness list,” it was a bluff and an obstacle to fair reporting.  Of course, none of these very important points came out in the two media reports.  But when the transcripts  are released, they will be posted, and everyone will see what was really said.  Those who would tell lies can no longer hide in the shadows; they will be "outed."

MG:     What’s going to be in your book, “Blonde on the Border:  The Government’s Case Against the Minutemen?”

LL:       Read it and find out!  I know my opponents think it will be some kind of cheerleading for Shawna Forde, but they are wrong.  It will be a real investigative report of a true crime incident, and many people in power will not like it.  There’s so much more beneath the surface; the media hasn’t even touched the real story.  It won’t be what anyone expects, but a whole different animal.