The verdict is in.
Allen Andrade was found guilty of first degree murder – with a hate crime enhancement – in the killing of Angie Zapata by a jury in Greeley, Colorado.
I have to admit I’m stunned. Once the final arguments concluded, I really began to worry that the trans-erasive – and likely unethical – strategy of defense attorney Annettte Kundelius was going to work.
And, unless I’m overlooking one, this marks only the second time that the murder of a transsexual woman resulted in a charge and conviction of first-degree murder, with the only other one occurring over three decades ago when Richard Moore was convicted of murdering his wife Terri somewhere along I-80 between Walcott and Lynnville, Iowa.
Bizzarely, there’s a potential connection between the two. Several years ago, I interviewed Moore’s attorney and he said that, when last he’d heard, Moore was acutally being held in a prison outside of Iowa.
Care to guess where?
Yep – Colorado. (Moore was from Colorado; he and Terri were living in Denver and were returning there from Michigan at the time of the murder.)
Autumn Sandeen’s alert about the verdict can be found at Pam’s House Blend.
CNN’s alert is here:
A Colorado man was convicted of first-degree murder and a bias-motivated crime in the slaying of a transgender teen he met on an online social networking site.
It the first time in the nation that a state hate crime statute was used to prosecute a transgender person’s murder, the advocacy group Gay Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation said.
Seated in the front row of the courtroom, the family of Justin “Angie” Zapata broke out in tears as the verdicts were read.
I just tuned into the live feed of the sentencing. Kundelius had the nerve to assert that Andrade is not a monster.
As the judge was imposing the sentence of life without parole, he told Andrade he hoped that “every day you think about the violence and brutality that you caused on your fellow human being.” (I may have mistranscribed a word or two; if so, please let me know.)
The judge also complimented all of the attorneys on what he asserted was their professionalism. Again I’ll say it: I think that the defense methodology of absolutely refusing to ever refer to Angie by the name – and sexual identity – that she went by was if not unethical then close enough to warrant an inquiry about it.
Rest in peace, Angie.