Seated in the front row of the courtroom, the family of Angie Zapata broke out in tears as the verdicts against Allen Andrade were read Wednesday.Blub.
…"I lost somebody so precious," said Maria Zapata, the victim's mother. She glanced at Andrade and continued: "The only thing he can't take away is the love and the memories that I have of my baby. My beautiful, beautiful baby."
Andrade spoke just one word. "No," he said when asked if he wished to address the court.
Judge Marcelo Kopcow then imposed the mandatory sentence for the first-degree murder conviction -- life in prison without parole.
This, despite everything the defense could do to save Andrade's murderous ass—using the "gay panic" defense, playing the old "lying tranny" card, and belligerently referring to Zapata as "he" and "Justin" throughout the trial, though Zapata had been Angie for two years by the time she and Andrade met.
Hatred and fear-mongering simply did not prevail.
I am sad beyond words that I even have occasion to write about this case. What I wouldn't give instead to have known Angie Zapata's name because I was writing about something she'd accomplished, rather than because she is gone. But given this tragic circumstance, I am pleased that justice was done—and I fervently hope that reason can be given to her otherwise purposeless, senseless death, that her name will be remembered the next time our Congress considers whether transgender people need to be included in federal hate crimes legislation.