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Prominent Transgender Blogger Says Zapata Family Helped Verdict

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A Colorado jury found a 32 year-old man guilty of murder as a hate crime yesterday – and a prominent transgender blogger and activist says the family of the victim may have played a huge role in the decision. The defense argument centered around the idea that Allen Andrade “snapped” when he learned that Angie Zapata, who he had been romantically involved with, was biologically male.

Prosecutors introduced evidence that Andrade likely knew Zapata was a transdender woman well before he killed her.

But Transgender blogger Autumn Sandeen, who was in the courtroom, says the jury was also likely swayed against the “trans-panic” defense by the supportiveness of Zapata’s family, and the fact that her sister Stephanie corrected Defense attorneys when they referred to Angie by her birth name, Justin.

Sandeen: “I think it made a huge difference in this trial, because – when Stephanie was on the stand and kept correcting him, it became really really apparent how the family felt about Angie, and how Angie lived her life openly and proud.”

Sandeen said while she was happy the jury rejected the trans panic defense, she was saddened that the defense even tried it. She said covering the trial personally affected her.

Sandeen: “On a personal level I am so sad. We won because one of our own was killed in a hate crime. It feels like a very painful victory to have justice for Angie.”

Andrade will serve life in prison without parole.

– Aaron McQuade

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Written by OutQ News staff

April 23, 2009 at 7:20 AM

Posted in Uncategorized

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