Making Hate-Crime History

April 23 2009, 9:07 AM

angiezapata1After deliberating for two hours yesterday, a jury found 32-year-old Allen Andrade guilty of murdering Angie Zapata in her Greeley apartment. Wasting no time, a judge then sentenced Andrade to life in prison without parole, according to myriad news organizations covering the week-long trial, including The New York Times. The case is believed to be the first in the nation in which a hate crimes law was applied for a transgendered victim. As The Denver Post writes, for Maria Zapata, Angie's mother, it didn't matter if Angie was seen as a man or a woman. Angie was her baby, she said yesterday: "I've lost something so precious." Andrade confessed to police that he beat Zapata with a fire extinguisher and his fists not only once, but twice--striking again after Zapata awoke from the first beating, according to the Greeley Tribune. But jurors did not hear about the second beating because Andrade asserted his right not to answer questions 40 minutes into his interrogation. The Human Rights Campaign commended Weld County District Attorney Ken Buck for prosecuting Andrade under the hate-crimes statute, according to The Washington Times. The case could have impacts across the nation, according to KUNC radio.