PHOENIX (Reuters) - A judge on Monday sentenced a member of an Arizona border vigilante group to life in jail for gunning down a man and his 9-year-old daughter during a home invasion two years ago.
Albert Gaxiola was sentenced to two life terms for the first degree murder of Raul Junior Flores, 29, and his daughter Brisenia Flores, 9, on May 30, 2009, during a home invasion in Arivaca, a town near the Mexico border, a Pima County Superior Court spokeswoman said.
Flores' wife Gina Gonzalez, 31, was also injured in the attack, but survived. She returned fire with a handgun, forcing the attackers to flee, and then called 911.
Gaxiola is the third defendant to be convicted and sentenced by the court this year for the murders.
The vigilante group's leader, Shawna Forde, and accomplice Jason Eugene Bush were both sentenced to death for the killings in February and April, respectively.
Forde was not accused of firing any shots during the attack, but prosecutors said she planned the attack to fund the fledgling border group.
Prosecutors claimed the robbery was planned to raise money for the Minutemen American Defense, a group that sought to curb illegal immigration over the porous Mexico border, the Arizona Daily Star newspaper reported.
(Reporting by Tim Gaynor; Editing by Peter Bohan)