Murder and Hate Verdict in Angie Zapata Case

April 24th, 2009 - 12:43 am ICT by GD  

In a two hour verdict, the jury found a Colorado man guilty of murdering an 18 year old transgender woman in what they ruled was a hate crime. Allen Andrade, 32, was convicted of killing Angie Zapata, 18, called Justin Zapata previously, in her apartment at Greeley last summer. He was sentenced to the mandatory penalty in Colorado for first degree homicide, which is, life in prison without parole.

Prosecutors said Andrade beat Zapata to death with a fire extinguisher and punches when he realized that Zapata who was his date from an online source, was a transgender individual. The incident got massive national media attention because of the gruesome murder and because it is the first hate crime verdict in a transgender victim’s case.

At the hearing of the sentence just after the verdict, Maria Zapata, the victim’s mother, said, “The one thing he can never take away is the love and memories that me and my children will have of my baby, my beautiful, beautiful baby.”

Andrade’s sister Christina Cruz apologized for the misdeed but said that her brother was human and they would love him in spite of what the verdict was. Meanwhile, his defense had tried to prove it was not a planned murder. “Justin Zapata lived like a female, looked like a female, sounded like a female,” said one lawyer, Annette Kundelius. “That’s what Mr. Andrade believed. And when he found it wasn’t Angie, it was actually Justin, he lost control.”

According to prosecutors, Andrade hated gay and transgender people and had waited to ambush Zapata in her apartment when he realized she was born a male. In closing arguments, District Attorney Robb Miller said the case “is about an unreasonable and deep-seated anger that he unleashed on Angie Zapata because she was a transgender woman.”

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