Suspect in death of Angie Zapata accused of beating teenager to death after discovering she was transgender
DENVER — A Colorado gay rights group is taking out newspaper ads to raise awareness about an upcoming murder trial of a man accused of killing a transgender woman in Greeley.
The Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center of Colorado has advertised the trial in 22 state newspapers. The group wants to remind people about Angie Zapata, a teenager who was beaten to death last July.
Allen Andrade of Thornton is accused of killing the transgender Zapata with his fists and a fire extinguisher after discovering she was biologically male. His trial begins Tuesday, April 14 in Weld County.
The trial marks the first case involving a transgender murder tried under the sexual orientation section of the state’s hate crime law. Colorado’s hate crime statutes included sexual orientation beginning in 2005, and the state is one of 11 across the country that have such designations in their laws.
The Zapata ads talk about Zapata and encourage a federal hate crimes law. The ads are not appearing in Greeley to prevent possible tainting of a jury pool.
The ads all link to the Web site, www.AngieZapata.com, which gives further information about Angie, what it means to be transgender and the importance of hate crime statutes. The site includes the banner “End Hate.”
"The strong support of state organizations recognizing the importance of this trial has been overwhelming," said Carlos Martinez, the group’s executive director, in a statement.
Prosecutors say Andrade beat Zapata to death because she was transgender. But the case against Andrade became more complicated last month when a Weld County judge ruled prosecutors can’t use a confession at trial. The confession was made after Andrade clearly stated he was finished answering questions about 40 minutes into a two-hour interrogation.
Also, prosecutors have been barred from presenting evidence that Andrade is a gang member.
On the Net: www.coloradoglbt.org