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Landmark Verdict in Transgender Murder Case

A jury found a Colorado man guilty yesterday of first-degree murder and perpetrated a hate crime in the death of Angie Zapata, a transgender woman. This decision is the first in which hate crime laws were applied to a murder where the victim was transgender.

Zapata was brutally murdered in 2008 by Allen Andrade, whom she met through a social networking website. Andrade fatally beat Zapata with a fire extinguisher and his fists after learning she was transgender. Andrade was sentenced to life in prison without parole, reported the New York Times.

Neil Giuliano, President of the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), said in a statement, “The past few months have offered Greeley residents, as well as people throughout Colorado and across the nation, an opportunity to better understand transgender lives and the horrifying reality of anti-transgender violence.

Media coverage of this case has played a vital role in broadening that understanding, and it has helped more people understand the importance of a fully inclusive hate crime law like Colorado’s.” According to the Los Angeles Times, 11 states have hate crimes laws that apply to transgendered people.

Sources:

GLAAD Statement 4/22/09; Los Angeles Times 4/22/09; New York Times 4/22/09