April 18, 2009
Posted: 09:22 PM ET
GREELEY, Colorado–Angie Zapata’s mother, sisters and friends took on the defense on the second day of the trial of the man accused of killing her last July. Zapata, a transgender female, was bludgeoned to death in her home in Greeley, Colorado, allegedly because she was biologically a male living as a female.
The accused, six-time convicted felon Allen Andrade, isn’t denying he’s the killer. He says that it wasn’t a premeditated murder as charged by the state; rather that Zapata’s deceit threw him into an uncontrollable rage. If convicted of a lesser degree of murder, he could avoid life without parole.
On the second day of the trial, seven family members and friends of Zapata testified. Of those seven, five of them, Zapata’s mother, two sisters and two friends, consistently embraced Zapata’s transgender status.
All day, the defense referred to Zapata by her birth name, Justin, and used the male pronoun “he.” In response to questions that invoked these terms, the witnesses would calmly but assertively use Angie and “she.” For example, one exchange was: “Both purses belonged to Justin?” “Yes, to Angie.” Another: “You received a text from Justin while he was in court?” “From my sister while she was in court, yes.”
The verbal sparring between defense attorneys and still-grieving family and friends highlighted the issue in the case. The defense says that Andrade’s rage when he learned that the striking woman he was with was biologically a male should mitigate his level of criminal responsibility. The prosecution is building a circumstantial case to the contrary. They say that Andrade knew for some time before the murder—at least a day and a half—that Zapata was a transgender female.
In addition to family and friends who described their last communications with Zapata and finding her lifeless body, jurors heard from a crime scene investigator and a homicide detective. They also saw a video of the scene and numerous photos and other items now in evidence.
I was in court Friday afternoon, sitting directly behind Andrade, when a witness identified Zapata from a photo taken not long before her death. When the prosecutor displayed the photo it was immediately transmitted to monitors around the courtroom—in the jury box, at the defense table and on a large monitor positioned between judge and witness. As the photo popped up on the monitor in front of Andrade, he closed his eyes and kept them closed for some time. Beyond that, he’s been pretty stoic throughout for the past two days.
Stay tuned to In Session's coverage of this case as it resumes Monday at 9 a.m.
–Beth Karas, In Session correspondent
Filed under: Uncategorized
From around the web
This is your online home for In Session on truTV’s up-to-the minute, comprehensive coverage of legal issues, trials and news from America’s courtrooms. Our anchors, analysts and producers are teaming up here to give you updates on the stories that matter to you.
Be sure to tune in to In Session on truTV from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. ET.
RT @hlnmakingit: We're talking about last night's #debate and tomorrow's jobs report! Tune in to @HLNTV now http://t.co/YlrEGOIq
Now on #HLN: RT @hlnmakingit: Having fun today w our #Obama & #Romney cut-outs. Play our game 'who said that' at 4p http://t.co/59AvFwnH
The #YellowDogProject, a sign for pets in a doggone bad mood http://t.co/WE1XNF05 via @LilThunderLiz @louisianabrown
RT @DarrenKavinoky: RT @DarrenKavinoky: Getting ready to dig into the toxicology issues in the #MillionaireDUI Case. Join us at @InSession on @truTV!