Smile called ‘provoking act’ in trans murder

Allen Andrade told his girlfriend that he "snapped" when he learned the woman he had oral sex with the night before was biologically a man. Indeed, until he confronted 18-year-old Angie Zapata in her Greeley apartment in July, Andrade had no reason to believe she was born Justin Zapata, Andrade's attorney argued Thursday at his preliminary hearing in Weld County District Court. Zapata's closet was full of women's clothes and her apartment was decorated with a female's touch, testified Greeley police Detective Greg Tharp. 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.

Police to get lessons on trans terms

In the wake of several recent arrests by Atlanta police in Midtown, the department's LGBT liaison is preparing to talk with some colleagues on what is acceptable language when referring to transgender individuals. The arrests of five men came earlier this month as part of a city-wide crackdown on panhandling. There's more after the jump.

Gay Dallas man murdered, dismembered

An openly gay Dallas man was murdered and dismembered inside his apartment on or before Sept. 4, according to police, and the jailed suspect’s father speculated that his son was involved in prostitution. However, one longtime friend of the victim maintained it wouldn’t have been like 38-year-old Richard Hernandez to solicit sex, while another warned against jumping to conclusions. Hernandez is presumed dead after Dallas police discovered a gruesome murder scene inside his apartment at 3939 Rosemeade Parkway in Far North Dallas, according to an arrest warrant. As of Thursday, Sept. 11, Hernandez’s remains had yet to be found.

Atlanta police target trans solicitation

The Atlanta Police Department logged a handful of arrests recently at three intersections known for transgender prostitution. The arrests came as the department is in the midst of a wider crackdown on panhandling across the city.
Police arrested five men, most of them dressed as women, in the early-morning hours Friday, the reports said. The men were not charged with soliciting prostitution, but rather for soliciting rides. The locations targeted were Fourth and Spring streets, Third and Spring streets and Fourth and West Peachtree streets.
An arrest report for one of those arrested lists the occupation as "Lady of the Night." Another report notes an outfit of "a pink halter top and “booty shorts." Transgender prostitution in Midtown has proven to be a vexing problem for police.

Former Hoedown’s owner behind bars

A year after gay businessman Ben Elliott left Atlanta in a cloud of controversy, he was arrested Aug. 27 in Winchester, Tenn., following an extensive federal investigation. At press time, Elliott was scheduled to be arraigned Sept. 5 in federal court in Atlanta on multiple charges of wire fraud and money laundering. Elliott left town last summer after Hoedowns, the popular gay country bar where his family had become the majority shareholder, closed abruptly Aug.13, 2007. The contents of the bar were later sold at public auction. Elliott’s tenure at Hoedowns was marked by anger from patrons who disliked the changes he made to the Atlanta institution, including dropping its format of all-country, all-the-time in favor of multiple drag shows and theme nights. The Franklin County, Tenn., Sheriff’s Department arrested Elliott on Aug. 27. He was held overnight in the county jail, then transported to Chattanooga and transferred to federal authorities, said Sheriff’s Department Lt. Mike Bell. Elliott is currently free on bond, according to the FBI. Read the full story from Southern Voice here.

Man who bites cop says he’s HIV-positive

A motorist who claims to be HIV-positive was behind bars Sunday after biting an Atlanta officer on the arm during his arrest in southwest Atlanta. Ross Deadwyler, 41, and police crossed paths about 3:30 a.m. Saturday when an Atlanta officer tried to stop Deadwyler along Metropolitian Parkway after noticing the suspect’s vehicle had a broken headlight, said Officer Ronald Campbell, an Atlanta police spokesman. Deadwyler sped off, prompting the officer to briefly give chase, Campbell said. A Georgia State Patrol officer soon picked up the chase, finally apprehending Deadwyler on Sylvan Road, Campbell said. Deadwyler bit out a plug of flesh from the Atlanta officer’s arm as the officer reached into his car to shut off the ignition, Campbell said. Deadwyler said he was HIV positive immediately after biting the officer, Campbell said. For the full story from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, go here.