Human Rights Campaign Statement on 'Trans-Panic' Defense in Murder of Angie Zapata

by HRC Staff

"The shameful 'trans panic' defense is nothing more than a scurrilous attempt to blame the victim for this horrible crime," said Solmonese

WASHINGTON - The Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization, today issued a statement on the murder of Angie Zapata and arrest of her alleged killer, Allen Ray Andrade in Greeley, Colorado. Andrade has been charged with first-degree murder and a hate crime in the case.

"The murder of Angie Zapata, just 18 years old, is a tragic reminder of the hate and ignorance that threatens the transgender community every day," said HRC President Joe Solmonese. "Even worse is that Angie's alleged killer is using her gender identity in an attempt to justify his heinous, inexcusable actions. The shameful 'trans panic' defense is nothing more than a scurrilous attempt to blame the victim for this horrible crime."

"The sheer brutality of Angie's murder-the way her killer viewed her as less than human simply because of her gender identity and expression-highlights our community's desperate need for hate crimes protection," said Allyson Robinson, HRC Associate Director of Diversity. "As a transgender woman, I am horrified by this crime, but as human beings, we should all be outraged."

Weld County District Attorney Ken Buck said Thursday his office has filed first-degree murder charges in the Angie Zapata case. The suspect, Allen Ray Andrade, 32, of Thornton, will also be charged with a hate crime. This will be the first murder in Weld County charged as a hate crime. Buck said the bias-connected charges have been filed before in other crimes in Weld, but not a murder. The hate crime addition adds another felony charged against Andrade, and could result in a more severe penalty.

"We are grateful that Weld County is properly pursuing the hate crime charge, and hope that strict enforcement of Colorado's hate crime law continues," said Solmonese.

The Human Rights Campaign is America's largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against GLBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.

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