4/17/09

The Bombshell Dropped In Prosecutor's Opening Statement At The Angie Zapata Hate Crime Murder Trial

by: Autumn Sandeen
Fri Apr 17, 2009 at 02:06:49 AM EDT Cross posted with full permission from Pam's House Blend. Thank you Autumn.

Today, 8:00AM to 5:00PM-ish MDT, I was in the Weld County, Colorado courtroom where the Angie Zapata Murder. The prosecution dropped a bombshell in the afternoon's opening statements: The Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, And Transgender Community Center Of Colorado -- in an understated way -- states the courtroom revelation:
In opening statements, the prosecution said they will present evidence that shows that Andrade knew that Angie was transgender long before he killed her.
Prosecuting attorneys said in the days leading up to the two meeting in person, they had exchanged nearly 700 communications.
After meeting, the two went to a traffic court hearing in Greeley in which Angie was identified in court by her previous male name and by male pronouns.
The defense team contends Andrade did not learn of Angie's transgender status until moments before he killed her.
What came out in court, per Deputy District Attorney Brandi Lynn Nieto, was this traffic court trip took place 36-hours before Allen Ray Andrade admittedly killed her.
As the prosecution is describing the timeline, a trans panic or gay panic strategy would, with the evidence that the prosecution has stated in court it will present, be impossible to support. And, that's because a trans panic/gay panic defense is a crime of passion strategy: If, as suggested, Allen Ray Andrade knew Angie was transgender 36-hours before he killed her, then this wasn't a crime of passion.
And, since the defense is using a classic gay panic/trans panic/blame-the-victim strategy -- the defense using the hated language of "deceptive" to describe Angie in their opening statement, and using the language of "supposedly female" to describe Angie in questions posed to witnesses in cross-examination later in the day -- and if the prosecution uses can adequately support their opening statement assertions in their presentation to the jurors, then this alleged 36-hour awareness of her transgender status would destroy the veracity of the defense assertions.
This really is a bombshell dropped by the prosecution team!
Autumn Sandeen :: The Bombshell Dropped In Prosecutor's Opening Statement At The Angie Zapata Hate Crime Murder Trial

2 comments:

stuffqueerpeopleneedtoknow said...

Reading about this at http://www.365gay.com/news/defense-colo-slaying-because-of-deception/ made me fill with despair. The whole thing is so ridiculous that I can't believe it. I even teared up. I was just shocked that this can happen. I mean, I know it happens, but to just hear someone say those things, it just breaks my heart.

Shaded Spriter said...

I read the story a number of times but I just thought of a way the defence could spin it.

If they try and play it like he thought angie was post-op and then found out she wasn't. It is wrong but that is how they can stick with the panic defence.