Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Andrade Guilty of Murder; Sentenced to Life

Allen Andrade was found guilty on Wednesday of first-degree murder for beating 18-year-old transgender woman Angie Zapata to death, reported

Prosecutors billed Andrade, 32, as a homophobe who aimed to kill Zapata after they met on a gay-related dating site. While Andrade's attorneys argued that the murder was a pure reaction to finding out that Zapata was transgender, evidence shows that she was up-front with Andrade about living as a woman.

"Someone living like that needs to be held accountable," he allegedly said to his girlfriend at the time.

Zapata and Andrade spent nearly three days together before the murder. The two also exchanged nearly 700 text messages in the days leading up to her death.

"The only time he showed any emotion is when he was talking about homosexuals," prosecutor Robb Miller said. "He even has the audacity to say he wants to sell his story to the press for $55,000."

The case drew wide national attention because it was believed to be the first to charge a suspect with murder as a hate crime against someone for their gender identity. Such hate-crime amendments do not exist on the federal level, but states like Colorado have those protections.

Andrade faces a mandatory life sentence without parole.

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