04.21.2009 5:49pm EDT
(Greeley, Colorado) The jury in the trial of a man accused of beating to death an 18-year-old transgendered woman listened in shock Tuesday to taped telephone conversations of calls he made while in jail.
Allen Ray Andrade is charged with murder as a hate crime in the killing of Angie Zapata.
In a call to his girlfriend Felicia Mendoza taped by jail authorities without his knowledge, Andrade tells Mendoza that “gay things need to die.”
In call, he jokes about his “celebrity” status, saying he he would sell his story for the right price.
“Give me money and I’ll sell my story – for $50,000 I would,” he was recorded telling her.
During cross-examination by Andrade’s attorneys, Mendoza said it was the first time she heard Andrade say anything derogatory about gays.
The defense maintains that Andrade “snapped” after finding out the teen was biologically male. But prosecutors argue that Andrade knew Angie Zapata’s secret for at least 36 hours before the slaying – and killed her not in a sudden rage but because he disliked gays and transgenders.
It is the first case in which the state’s hate crime law has been applied in a case involving a transgendered person.
Colorado added gender identity to its hate crime law in 2005. It is one of only 11 states across the country that include transgender protections in their hate crime laws.
Zapata’s bloodied, battered body was discovered in her Greeley apartment by her sister on July 17, 2008.
Andrade allegedly told investigators that he met Zapata through MocoSpace, a social network designed primarily for cell phone users. The two met July 15 and spent the day together. Andrade allegedly told investigators that Zapata performed oral sex on him but wouldn’t let him touch her. When he discovered she was biologically male he killed her.
In the taped confession, he allegedly told investigators that he grabbed Zapata’s crotch area, felt male genitalia and became angry. He told investigators that he took a fire extinguisher off a shelf, struck Zapata twice in the head and thought he “killed it.”
But the jury will not hear the confession, because Judge Marcelo Kopcow ruled it inadmissable.