For the first time in US history, the hate-crime statute has been used in the death of a transgender person. Yesterday a jury found Allen Andrade guilty of first-degree murder and a hate crime after he beat to death Angela Zapata, an 18-year-old transgender woman, with his fists and a fire extinguisher.
Taped conversations between Andrade and two of his girlfriends were played as evidence of his motive. On the tapes he justifies his behavior, saying it wasn't like he "killed a straight, law-abiding citizen." He also called Angela an "it."
Angela wasn't an "it" but rather a person whose gender identity (self-identification as woman, man, or neither) didn't match her assigned sex (identification by others as male or female based on physical/genetic sex).
Andrade's lawyers argued that he snapped after discovering Angela, whom he met on the Internet, was born a male; prosecutors alleged that he did it out of his dislike for gay and transgendered people. Still other testimony suggests that Andrade was confused about his own sexuality, having met Angela on MocoSpace, where he had also visited a bisexual chat room. Some witnesses say that Angela had a deep, male voice, and that Andrade's claim he had no idea Angela was transgendered was unbelievable.
Angela's brother spoke after the verdict saying: "The message was sent loud and clear that crimes targeting LGBT people will not be tolerated in Colorado." To see video of Angela's amazingly strong family remembering her,