Angie Zapata case: further pre-trial update

March 12, 2009

Further to my post last week, the Greeley Tribune now reports that Judge Marcelo Kopcow has now released a ruling in which he deems Andrade’s July 30 confession to police to be inadmissible, and has refused to allow evidence that Andrade is a gang member.

As the Greeley Tribune reports:

Prosecutors will have to proceed without some key evidence in the murder trial of Allen Andrade.

[…]

[Judge] Kopcow said Andrade’s statements to police were elicited after he clearly told investigators he was finished answering questions about 39 minutes into the two-hour interrogation.

[…]

It’s unclear how much Andrade told [Detective] Tharp about his encounters with Zapata in that first 39 minutes, however.

According to a police affidavit, Andrade told Tharp he met Zapata on the Internet and that they had arranged a date. The affidavit said he stayed at Zapata’s apartment alone while she went out, and he realized Zapata was a man. When Zapata returned later, Andrade confronted her about being a man, eventually hitting her with his fists and knocking her to the ground, the affidavit stated.

Andrade, according to the affidavit, said he then hit Zapata with a fire extinguisher, and later, when she started to wake up, he hit her several more times until she died.

[…]

Kopcow also ruled that Andrade’s recorded statements in telephone calls from the Weld County Jail would remain as part of the evidence. In those calls, Andrade told his girlfriend that he “snapped” and that “gay things need to die.”

The phone calls, played at his preliminary hearing in September, detailed that something bad had happened and that Andrade had made a mistake.

Andrade expressed in the calls that he was out of control, outside himself and not a coherent person the day of the murder, the calls revealed. The phone calls also were laden with derogatory remarks toward homosexuals. In the calls, Andrade stated that people in jail were afraid of him because of his reputation for wielding a fire extinguisher, the suspected murder weapon.

To summarise, the following pieces of evidence will not be allowed:

  • Confession to police
  • Andrade’s alleged gang affiliation, photo showing him flashing a gang sign, evidence that gangs do not tolerate homosexuality

And these pieces of evidence will be allowed:

  • Statements to police admitting to stealing Zapata’s car
  • Recorded phone calls Andrade made from jail to his girlfriend
  • Evidence from a friend saying Zapata looked convincingly like a woman
  • Evidence and photos from Andrade’s cell phone (though some pictures are out). The cell phone notes 670 separate communications between Andrade and Zapata between July 1-16, 2008

Allen Andrade will be tried for murder in a two-week trial beginning April 14 before Weld District Court Judge Marcelo Kopcow. Attorneys have one last chance to resolve the case prior to trial in a pre-trial readiness conference scheduled March 30.

…Curtsey to Kyras for posting the link to the Greeley Tribune report in the comments on my earlier piece over at QT…

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(Cross-posted at Questioning Transphobia)

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