End Hate (Light a candle for Angie)

April 10, 2009

Click for full-sized PDFOn Tuesday (April 14), the jury selection begins in connection with the trial of Allen Andrade for the first-degree murder of Angie Zapata last July. Last Wednesday, a coalition of 50 civil rights and anti-violence groups launched a public information campaign online and in 22 Colorado newspapers. (Click the thumbnail image for full-size PDF)

The ads urge readers to “light a candle for Angie,” the 18-year-old Greeley resident found beaten to death last summer in her apartment, and to support passage of legislation that would add sexual orientation to federal hate-crime law. The trial of Allen Andrade, 32, will be the first time in the nation that hate-crime charges will be included in the prosecution of a defendant accused of murdering a transgender victim.

(Via the Colorado Independent)

Although the trial is scheduled to last for two weeks, Jennifer Finch, spokeswoman for Weld County District Attorney Ken Buck, has said that the jury selection process could delay matters:

“We are concerned because of all the publicity the case has received, including the ad,” Finch said. “It could be that much longer to seat a panel.”

(Via the Denver Post)

However, Mindy Barton, legal director for the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center of Colorado said that the ads did not run in newspapers where a possible juror would live, and added that potential jurors in Weld County still could have read newspaper accounts or television reports on the murder over the past year.

From the Colorado Independent:

Weld County District Attorney Ken Buck included hate-crime charges among a raft of other felony counts filed against Andrade, including first-degree murder, automobile theft and identity theft. In December, Buck added habitual criminal charges to the prosecution’s arsenal, which could quadruple any sentence handed down by the jury based on Andrade’s three prior felony convictions for contraband possession, theft and lying to a pawnbroker. Buck said he filed the additional count in case the jury convicts on a lesser-included charge, such as second-degree murder, which carries a statutory sentence of eight to 24 years. A first-degree murder conviction carries a mandatory sentence of life imprisonment or the death penalty in Colorado.

“The tragic circumstances of Angie’s death gives Coloradans an opportunity to better understand Angie’s life and the lives of transgender people,” the coalition contends. Toward that end, ProgressNow Colorado produced a video featuring Zapata’s family remembering Angie:



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Cross-posted at Questioning Transphobia


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