Angie Zapata murder trial – Wednesday April 22 – Now we wait for the verdict

April 22, 2009

This morning’s session has focused on Judge Kopcow’s instructions to the jury, and a brief summing up of the cases for the defense, and for the prosecution.

Wednesday morning, April 22

  • Judge Kopcow read the jury instructions to the jury
  • Instruction 6 related to circumstantial evidence
  • Instruction 14 related to culpability due to mental state. (Autumn Sandeen noted: This will come into play esp. with the bias crime charge – via
  • Instruction 15 covered elements for the count of first degree murder (F1 felony)
  • Instruction 16 – on the four lesser included homicide charges
  • Instruction 17 discussed second degree murder (F2 and F3 felonies). An F2 felony would be premeditated, whereas an F3 felony would apply if the jury decided that Angie had been murdered in the “heat of passion” – the trans panic defense
  • Instruction 18 – the conditions required to meet the definition of bias motivated crime
  • Instruction 20 – identity theft
  • Instruction 21 concerned vehicle theft (Andrade was charged with stealing Angie’s PT Cruiser)
  • Instruction 22 defined other terms specific to the trial and included “sexual orientation” – a catchall term which includes “transgender status”
  • Prosecution’s closing statement. DA Rob Miller said that the case is about intent – Andrade’s intent – and added that some elements indicated a bias motivated crime, and others described first degree murder. DA Miller believed that neither manslaughter nor criminally negligent homicide would be appropriate verdicts.
    DA Miller believed that Angie Zapata was not murdered in the heat of the moment, and that Andrade had enough time to do what a reasonable person would have done, namely, to walk away and get out of that situation. Andrade should be found guilty on all charges.
  • Annette Kundelius, the Defense Attorney, presented the closing argument, saying that what happened was nothing to do with sexual orientation (ie Angie’s gender identity) but because Andrade had been deceived and therefore did not commit a felony (F1, F2 or F3). Finding out that Angie had male genitalia was “sufficient provocation” (to commit manslaughter or criminally negligent homicide) and Andrade “just reacted”
  • DA Miller’s rebuttal: An attack to the head and face with multiple blows indicates intent, not deception – “Is she supposed to wear a sign that she’s transgender?”
  • Judge Kopcow issued Instruction 24 on the process of jury deliberation and how to complete the paperwork for the verdict
  • The jury retired to deliberate

The possible convictions are: 1st degree murder; 2nd degree murder; 2nd degree murder/heat of passion/manslaughter; criminally negligent homicide.

Andrade has three prior felony convictions, with another two pending (for rioting in jail, and misdemeanor assault), spanning 12 years.

Angie Zapata’s family will issue a formal statement half-an-hour after the verdict is made known.


(Cross-posted at Questioning Transphobia)


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