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GLAAD Reports from the Angie Zapata Murder Trial

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GLAAD Media Field Strategist Adam Bass is in Greeley, Colo. as the trial in the murder of Angie Zapata begins, working alongside local advocacy organizations on the ground to coordinate local media efforts and support Zapata's family and friends. Angie Zapata was an 18-year-old transgender woman who was brutally murdered in her own home last July - and the trial for the man accused of murdering her began Tuesday, April 14.

The man who allegedly murdered Angie goes on trial for premeditated murder this week. He also faces a hate crimes charge, the first time such a charge has been leveled against a defendant in the case of a murdered transgender person – in Colorado and the nation.

Colorado media outlets, as well as some national media, have been reporting on Angie Zapata and this murder trial.

Angie Zapata s family gathers for a vigil in her honor Tuesday in Greeley, Colo.

Angie Zapata s family gathers for a vigil in her honor Tuesday in Greeley, Colo.

Tuesday, in Greeley, was no different. Locals, led by the Lambda Center of Fort Collins, gathered for a brief candlelight vigil in a downtown Greeley park. They gathered to show support to the family as the trial begins. Speakers included retired Pastor Steve Brown of Greeley and Andy Stoll of the Lambda Center.

Monica Zapata, Angie’s older sister, also spoke, surrounded by many other family members.  Monica remembered Angie as “beautiful.” She said that Angie would be happy to see that the community was coming together to “change the world” and make it a better place for other transgender people to live.

Over 60 people gathered in the park to show support to the family, and the event ended a busy news day. Denver television stations CBS 4 Denver, ABC 7 News, NBC 9News and Fox 31 KDVR, as well as Greeley’s Channel 5, filed reports from the opening day of court.

Angie Zapata

Angie Zapata

TruTV is covering the entire trial. Denver Post and Greeley Tribune reporters were also at the court house, while Pam’s House Blend contributor Autumn Sandeen will be live blogging and using Twitter throughout the trial. The first day of the trial consisted of jury selection, and it is expected that opening statements in the trial will be presented on Thursday.

GLAAD is on the ground to work with the media as they cover this trial – to ensure that Angie’s story is told fairly, accurately and inclusively, and that the story of Angie's life isn’t lost in the coverage of her murder.

To find out more about Angie Zapata and her life, visit www.angiezapata.com