Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Guilty verdict in Angie Zapata murder case

The Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization, today issued statements on the guilty verdict in the trial of Allen Ray Andrade, who brutally murdered Angie Zapata in Greeley, Colorado. Andrade was convicted of first-degree murder and a hate crime in the case.
“We owe the jury a debt of gratitude for seeing through the shameful ‘trans panic’ defense which attempted to blame the victim for this heinous crime," said HRC President Joe Solmonese. “The murder of Angie Zapata, just 18-years-old, is a tragic reminder of the hate and ignorance that threatens the transgender community every day. While these cases are far too common, we applaud Weld County District Attorney Ken Buck and his office for pursing the hate crime in a case where the crime was clearly directed not just at the victim, but at an entire community."

“As a transgender woman, I am grateful that Angie’s killer has been brought to justice. I hope that today’s verdict brings a degree of closure to Angie’s family, who were devastated that someone who was such an integral part of their lives is gone. The sheer brutality of Angie's murder—the way her killer viewed her as less than human simply because of her gender identity and expression—highlights our community's desperate need for hate crimes protection,” said Allyson Robinson, HRC Associate Director of Diversity.