7NEWS reporter Lance Hernandez is blogging from the first-degree murder trial of Allen Andrade, who is accused of killing Angie Zapata, a transgender teen. Tuesday was the fourth day of the trial.
Lead investigator, Greg Tharp of the Greeley Police Department is on the stand.
He's talking about his interview techniques. Tharp told the court that police want the defendant to know that they know more about the crime than he thinks they do, but they don't want him to think they know everything.
He said investigators threw out a "lifeline" of self-defense to the defendant to get him to talk. Tharp said that allows the defendant to believe he has some leeway to begin providing his statement of facts.
The investigator talked about a conversation he had with the defendant's girlfriend, Angie Tyree. He said he told her that Andrade was going to be arrested for murder in this case. He said they discussed that the victim's PT Cruiser was related to the homicide case. He said she told him she remembered a suspicious conversation with Andrade. She said Andrade told her that he was scared and needed to skip town.
The prosecutor said that was in contradiction to what the girlfriend testified about on Monday.
Tharp also told the court that he acquired the recordings of the jailhouse phone calls made by the defendant from the Adams County and Weld County jails. He said the phone calls obviously provide information police might not otherwise have.
Felicia Mendoza was the recipient of one of the phone calls. She and Andrade had an intimate relationship. She asked the defendant if it was OK to keep something he had given her or if she should get rid of it. Tharp said as he listened to the call he believed that they were discussing potentially destroying evidence in the case.
He researched where she lived and worked and went to her place of business.
Prosecutor Brad Martin then showed Tharp two purses and asked if Mendoza gave the purses to him. Tharp said, "Yes" during his meeting with her.
After he received the purses, Tharp said he anticipated sending them to CBI. He took photographs of them and then met with Monica Marguia, the victim's older sister and Felicia Luna, the victim's best friend from childhood. Both recognized purses as belonging to Angie Zapata.
Break for lunch.
Lead investigator Greg Tharp again takes the stand.
He is asked about a fire extinguisher that is found alongside Highway 34 near 4th Avenue. He talked about the victim's cell phone records.
Prosecution rests at 2:56 p.m.
Jurors sent to jury room.
Defense attorney tells judge the prosecution has presented only circumstantial evidence. He asks for judgment of acquittal. Prosecutor says a reasonable jury could find the defendant guilty of all the charges.
Judge says prosecution has met the burden with regard to the charges. He denied the motion for summary judgment.
He then tells the defendant that he can testify if he wants to but doesn't have to if he doesn't want to. He says Andrade should consider his attorneys' advice but doesn't have to follow it.
Recess for 10 minutes.
Defendant Allen Andrade says he will not testify in his own defense. Det. David Brantner is called to the stand.
He is an investigator with Greeley Police Department.
He talked about an interview with the victim's mom, who said she would not call Justin "Angie." She said regardless of how Justin was dressed you couldn't tell he was a guy.
The defense calls Detective Robert Cash.
He was asked if he interviewed Marian Morales. He said yes. He was asked if Mrs. Morales talked to him about thinking that the victim was a female up until a short time ago when she had a conversation about the victim being a man. He said yes.
There's no cross examination of Cash.
A third witness testified that the victim sounded like a male trying to project as a female.
Marisa Ameza is called to testify.
She says she went to a couple of bars with Justin Zapata. She says there were many men who came up to talk to Justin (who was dressed as a girl.)
The fifth defense witness called to the stand was a former roommate of Justin's. J.J. Alejandro told the court that he was introduced to the victim by a woman named Mercedes. He said that Zapata looked like a girl. At some point Mercedes told him that Zapata was a guy.
He said he was surprised by that because of her clothing, her looks, her home. He said it smelled like a woman's apartment.
Under redirect, Alejandro said he lived with Justin/Angie for three months. She never got mail as Justin, Alejandro said.
The defense rests at 4:37 p.m.
Judge tells jurors to go home and come back at 10 a.m. Wednesday to begin deliberations.
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