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Allen Andrade is on trial for first-degree murder and a bias-motivated crime. He is accused of beating an 18-year-old transgender woman to death with a fire extinguisher. Angie Zapata was killed in her apartment in July 2008. 7NEWS Reporter Lance Hernandez is blogging live from the trial.
----------2:05 p.m.----------Judge gives brief instructions to jurors.Opening statements begin.Prosecutor Brandi Lynn Nieto asks jurors to imagine two women at an apartment door looking for their little sister. She hasn't called or showed up at their house like usual. Nobody's heard from her. Fearing something's happened, they get key put it in lock and step inside.They see their sister lying on floor covered with a blanket. One of them pulls the blanket back. What does she see? She sees something no one should have to see, her sister covered in blood. The victim's skull crushed... a lifeless body on floor.Law enforcement learns this woman is Angie Zapata... 18 years old.Her mother... brother... and other sisters had to receive that phone call that no one wants to get.Angie's body was found July 17, 2008 in a tiny apartment. She was a young vibrant 18 year old. But she was no ordinary woman. She was born male. Named Justin.It took time and patience for family to see who Angie was. But they did and learned to call her AngieAllen Andrade and Angie met in Thornton July 15, 2008. They spent the day together.Angie had to appear in Greeley municipal court. She took Allen Andrade with her.When her case was called... the clerk said "City of Greeley vs Justin Zapata. (her male name)Prosecutor says this suggests that the defendant knew the victim was biologically a male 36 hours before she was killed.Evidence suggests she trusted him enough to leave him in her apartment by himself.The next day she went to work... came home... got some alcohol. It was that night the defendant got a fire extinguisher... hit her several times in the head. Took her purse... credit cards... car and went about living his life.No one deserves to die like this. No one deserves to get a phone call like her mother and family members did that day.On July 16 he felt justified to serve as judge and jury... deciding whether Angie should live or die.It was not a snap decision. The defendant knew for 36 hours that Angie was biologically male.We're going to ask you to put the evidence together.You'll get to see video from a liquor store of Angie with the defendant.Investigators will tell you they found evidence that looked like someone tried to clean up the scene.Experts will testify that Angie's death was blunt force trauma... crushed skull.Between July 16 and 17 there were multiple transactions on Angie's debit card.Andrade was found with the victim's debit cards and with victim's PT Cruiser.He told cops he found the car with the keys in it.He said he had taken it a week before... and confirmed the use of the debit card.He's not truthful about knowing Angie. When shown a photo... he said he didn't know her.He denies killing Angie.You'll have opportunity to hear calls.On the night of the arrest, he called his girlfriend and said, "This is bad.... it was a mistake." She asked if he killed someone, he said, "I can't talk about that we're on the phone."You'll hear about DNA evidenceAnalysis puts the defendant at scene... shows no evidence of Angie fighting back... and no evidence of sexual activity.You'll hear evidence of the defendant's hatred of homosexuals.You'll hear calls where he says gay fool, I'll kill him too.You'll see evidence that shows he knew that Angie was biologically male.On July 17, Angie was brutally beaten in her apartment. This is the person who spent time with her... talked to her... then picked up a fire extinguisher and bashed her skull in. He'll tell you the reason he did it was because she was transgendered.We're going to ask that this deed not go unpunished.She didn't deserve to die like this. No one deserves to die like this.---------- 2:34 p.m.----------Public Defender Brad Martin told Jurors that Justin looked and acted like a female.He said this case is not about whether Justin Zapata was right or wrong. This is a case about deception.You're going to hear him say I don't know why I reacted that way. You're going to hear him say it was uncontrollable.You will hear no direct evidence that Allen killed Justin after reflection.To convict under a bias motivated statute, you need to be convinced that he killed Justin because of bias.The evidence is going to show that Allen thought Justin was a she.You're going to hear things like Allen saying Gay things need to die.But more importantly than what's said... you're going to hear the context.He's being tried on a bias crime that he didn't commit.You're also going to hear that many officers had difficulty trying to determine how to refer to the victim.You're going to hear from municipal court clerks that saw the victim show up at the courthouse with with a man... but none of them will be able to point to Allen and say he was the one who accompanied her to court.This case is about deceptions and reaction to that deception.We ask you to consider the evidence and find Allen not guilty of premeditated first degree murder and not guilty of a bias motivated hate crime.----------2:45 p.m.----------First witness sworn in... Marian Morales.Morales identifies the apartment where the homicide took place. She used to live in the building and spoke frequently with the victim.When asked about July 17th... she said she tries not to remember... that it was uncomfortable.Morales told the court she does remember two girls knocking on her door and yelling, "My sisters dead, my sisters dead.When asked about previous conversations with Justin/Angie and whether she sounded like a male or female... Morales said she couldn't tell. The voice just sounded normal.Said she never heard any arguing or fighting or glass crashing coming from apt. #8.----------3:09 p.m.----------Jennifer Hoagstad takes the stand. She works for Weld County Paramedic servicesHoagstad said she remembers getting called out on a cardiac arrest. Arrived to find door open... screen closed. Body on floor... face up... feet toward door.Patient was pulse less and not breathing... a lot of blood. rigor of upper extremities.