Opening Statements Expected Thursday in Angie Zapata Murder Trial

April 16, 2009
Jury selection continued on the second day of the Angie Zapata murder trial. Weld County, Colo. is finding that it is a long process to seat an impartial jury in this highly visible landmark hate crime prosecution in the first degree murder of a transgender person. As they work to identify potential jurors, the court and District Attorney's office have been helpful and accommodating, and court personnel have made preparations for the safety and comfort for the large groups of people attending the trial.
TruTV set up outside the Weld County Courthouse

TruTV set up outside the Weld County Courthouse

Jury selection continued throughout the day on Wednesday and will likely wrap up Thursday morning, with opening statements expected to begin sometime around lunchtime. Given the number of jurors in the courtroom, the only people in the room for jury selection are potential jurors and essential court employees. Tomorrow, as the number of jurors is winnowed to the final panel, others will gain access to the court room to watch the proceedings. Regardless of the lull in courtroom drama, the media kept a close eye on the day's events, with reporters hovering around the courtroom throughout the day. A peak in media attention is expected when the opening statements begin on Thursday. TruTV, led by reporter Beth Karas, will broadcast the entire case live, either during their "In Session" television coverage or streaming live online. Furthermore, Tuesday's vigil received widespread media coverage statewide, including a very well written piece in The Greeley Tribune.

Kelly Costello, CAVP, being interviewed about the trial by Denver Channel 4

Many are expecting that the defense team will be implementing a "blame the victim" strategy to imply that Angie somehow had responsibility for her own murder. GLAAD will be working to ensure that the media does not co-opt this deceptive and ill-assigned responsibility. Pam's House Blend will be tweeting throughout the trial, giving essential updates in real-time, with hash tag "justiceforangie." GLAAD will continue to post daily updates from the trial with highlights of media coverage of this landmark murder trial.