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Angie Zapata (5 August 1989–17 July 2008) was an American trans woman beaten to death in Greeley, Colorado. Her killer, Allen Andrade, was convicted of first-degree murder and committing a hate crime, because he murdered her after learning she was transgender. The case was the first in the nation to get a conviction for a hate crime involving a transgender victim, which occurred in 2009.[1] Angie Zapata's story and murder were featured on Univision's November 1, 2009 Aquí y Ahora television show.

Angie Zapata
Angie2 (3445518954).jpg
Born(1989-08-05)August 5, 1989
DiedJuly 17, 2008(2008-07-17) (aged 18)

Early lifeEdit

Zapata was born on August 5, 1989, in Brighton, Colorado. From an early age, Zapata was feminine and expressed an attraction to boys. In middle school, Zapata disclosed her female gender identity to family and close friends. She adopted the name "Angie" when presenting as female, retaining the name Justin (or "Jus" for short) in public. At the age of 16, Zapata began living full-time as a woman.[1][2]

Angie had three sisters and a gay older brother, Gonzalo. Zapata's family was supportive, although her mother worried for her safety.[2]

Murder and trialEdit

Zapata was 18 when she met Allen Andrade (age 31 at the time) through the mobile phone social network MocoSpace.[2] According to Andrade, the two met on July 15, 2008, and spent nearly three days together, during which they had a sexual encounter. Prosecutors state that Andrade later discovered that Zapata was transgender and subsequently began beating her—first with his fists and then with a fire extinguisher—until she was dead. In the arrest affidavit, Andrade said he thought he had "killed it" before leaving in Zapata's car with the murder weapon and other incriminating evidence.[3] Andrade was arrested near his residence driving Zapata's car.[4][5]

The possibility of prosecuting the case as a hate crime was pressed by Zapata's family.[6][7][8] The actual trial began on April 16, 2009. During the trial, the jury heard jailhouse conversations in which Andrade told a girlfriend that "gay things must die."[1]

On April 22, 2009, Andrade was found guilty of first degree murder, hate crimes, aggravated motor vehicle theft, and identity theft.[9][10] He was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.[9] Because Andrade had six prior felony convictions, the judge dubbed him a "habitual criminal" at his May 8, 2009 sentencing trial for the hate crime and theft convictions.[10] This added additional 60 years to his sentence.[10] As of October 2015, Andrade is serving his time at Sterling Correctional Facility.[11]


The 2011 novel The Butterfly and the Flame by Dana De Young was dedicated in part to Zapata's memory.[12]

Ozomatli references Zapata in their song "Gay Vatos in Love", on their 2010 album Fire Away.[13]


  1. ^ a b c Spellman, Jim (April 22, 2009). "Transgender murder, hate crime conviction a first". CNN.
  2. ^ a b c Asmar, Melanie (May 28, 2009). "Who was Angie Zapata? Her murderer's trial didn't tell the whole story". Westword. Retrieved June 19, 2014.
  3. ^ Whaley, Monte (July 31, 2008). "Transgender victim referred to as "it"". The Denver Post.
  4. ^ Banda, P. Solomon (July 31, 2008). "Colorado man charged in transgender slaying". USA Today.
  5. ^ Shoetz, David (July 31, 2008). "Transgender Teen's Murder Suspect Snapped". ABC News.[permanent dead link]
  6. ^ Staff (July 23, 2008). "Hundreds mourn slain teen; hate crime suspected". The Denver Post.
  7. ^ Whaley, Monte (July 24, 2008). "Kin believe transgender teen's killing a hate crime". The Denver Post.
  8. ^ Whaley, Monte (July 25, 2008). "Transgender teen's murder possibly a hate crime". The Denver Post.
  9. ^ a b Luning, Ernest (April 22, 2009). "Andrade sentenced to life without parole in Zapata killing". The Colorado Independent. Archived from the original on 2009-05-05. Retrieved 2009-07-18.
  10. ^ a b c Asmar, Melanie (May 8, 2009). "In Zapata case, sixty years added to murderer's life sentence". Westword. Archived from the original on 2009-06-14. Retrieved 2009-07-18.
  11. ^ Colorado Department of Corrections (n.d.). "Andrade, Allen R DOC # 104109". Retrieved October 1, 2015.
  12. ^ The Butterfly and the Flame, by De Young, Dana. Published by iUniverse 4-27-2011. Read 05-30-2011
  13. ^ "La Plaza". Los Angeles Times. May 2, 2010.

External linksEdit