A judge in Colorado has ruled that a 31 year old man will stand trial for the first degree murder of an 18 year old trans woman and a “bias-motivated crime.”
Allen Andrade will also be charged with stealing the victim’s car and debit card.
Angie Zapata’s sister found her in her apartment in Greeley, Colorado. She had been beaten to death on July 17 and covered with a blanket.
Police arrested Allen Ray Andrade after responding to a noise complaint and finding him in the stolen car about 50 miles away from the murder scene.
It will be the first murder in Weld County to be prosecuted as a hate crime.
In 2005 a new law added protections for people based on sexual orientation, including “transgender status,” to Colorado’s “bias-motivated crimes” statute.
Andrade told police that he met Zapata on July 15 for a one-time sexual encounter through social networking site MocoSpace.
Andrade reportedly discovered Zapata’s male genitalia the next day after seeing photographs around the apartment, becoming suspicious, and forcibly grabbing her crotch after her insistence that she was “all woman.”
Andrade then hit Zapata twice in the head with a fire extinguisher after striking her with his fists.
While cleaning the scene for evidence, Andrade told police that, though he thought he’d “killed it,” Zapata tried to sit up.
He then struck her a third time with the fire extinguisher and also took her purse, keys and phone before fleeing in her 2003 Chrysler PT Cruiser.
It has emerged that in a phone call to his girlfriend from jail he said “gay things must die.” He returns to court in November.
About 200 people attended the July 23rd memorial service for Angie Zapata.
“Angie gave me the power to not care what people thought of me,” friend Angie Portillo, a lesbian, said at the service. “She always just wanted to be who she was, and that was female and to be loved.”