Angie Zapata, an 18 year old Colorado trans woman, was brutally murdered in July, 2008. Allen Ray Andrade, 32, admitted beating Zapata to death because he became enraged upon learning she was transgender during a date. He learned Zapata was transgender by grabbing her genitals without her consent.
“(S)he tricked me!” – known as “trans panic” – is commonly used as a defense by people on trial for killing transgendered folks. Tragically, juries and members of the public often have more sympathy for the murderers than they do for their victims. Andrade is charged with second-degree murder; it is the first murder of a transgender person that will be tried as a hate crime in the US. Jury selection begins today.
“Andrade indicated he became angered by his discovery and struck victim Zapata with his fists,” according to the affidavit. He then grabbed a fire extinguisher, he said, and struck her twice.
He told investigators he thought he “killed it,” referring to Zapata.
Andrade then stole Zapata’s car and used her credit card at multiple locations around the Denver area.
A group of progressive, civil rights and anti-violence groups have launched an Internet and print media public information campaign across Colorado to inform people about Angie and educate about hate crimes.
The ads urge readers to “light a candle for Angie,” … and to support passage of legislation that would add sexual orientation to federal hate-crime law.
You can “light a candle for Angie” by becoming a fan of this Facebook page and sharing the link – and Angie’s story – with your friends. May justice be served for Angie and may she rest in peace.