Judge Rejects “Provoking Smile” Defense In Murder Of Denver Transwoman

Yesterday a Denver judge rejected a request to lower the charge in the case of murdered transwoman Angie Zapata, after her killer’s lawyer said that Allen Andrade was “provoked” into killing Zapata when she smiled at him after he demanded to know if she was male.

Only when Andrade grabbed at Zapata’s crotch did he discover the truth. But when she smiled at him and said, “I’m all woman,” it drove an enraged Andrade to commit murder, attorney Annette Kundelius said. “At best, this is a case about passion,” Kundelius said. “When (Zapata) smiled at him, this was a highly provoking act, and it would cause someone to have an aggressive reaction.”

Andrade will be tried for first degree murder with a felony hate crime bias charge. The judge said his decision was influenced by anti-gay and anti-trans statements Andrade made while in custody. Andrade may face the death penalty, but no one has been executed in Colorado since 1976. The state presently has only three prisoners on death row.