Texas Cadet-Murder Trial Underway
FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) _ Former Naval Academy midshipman Diane Zamora urged her boyfriend to kill her romantic rival by screaming, ``Shoot her, kill her, shoot her!″ Ms. Zamora’s former best friend testified today.
During the first day of testimony in Ms. Zamora’s murder trial, Christina Mason said that days after the killing, her friend had confided that the couple plotted to snap Adrianne Jones’ neck and dump her body in a lake.
``After they had taken her out to a lake, Diane lost control and began to hit her with a weight over the head,″ Ms. Mason said.
She said that during a conversation at Ms. Mason’s house, Ms. Zamora admitted she demanded that boyfriend David Graham, who became an Air Force cadet, shoot Miss Jones.
``She started screaming, `Shoot her, kill her, shoot her!‴ Ms. Mason said.
``Diane said David had killed her,″ Ms. Mason said. ``That’s how he proved his love.″
Ms. Zamora is accused in the December 1995 slaying of Miss Jones, a murder allegedly carried out in retaliation for a one-time high-school fling the girl had with Graham.
Ms. Zamora and Graham were charged the following September, when she was a freshman at the Naval Academy and Graham was in his first year at the Air Force Academy. He will be tried separately.
According to statements Graham and Ms. Zamora have given police, they lured Miss Jones to a secluded road, Ms. Zamora hit the girl with a dumbbell weight, then Graham shot her in the head when she tried to flee.
The defense argued unsuccessfully last week that Ms. Zamora’s statement was given under duress.
Prosecutors used their opening statements today to portray a cold and calculated plot.
``Like a puzzle when the pieces are fit together, you will see a brutal and senseless murder committed by this woman and her boyfriend,″ assistant prosecutor Michelle Hartman said.
Lead defense attorney John Linebarger told jurors that crime scene evidence would contradict the prosecution’s allegations. He portrayed Ms. Zamora as a caring woman focused on her family and on pursuing academic excellence.
Linebarger also said he will prove that Graham never had sex with Miss Jones as prosecutors have alleged. He did not elaborate.
Police say that while Graham fired the fatal shots, Ms. Zamora helped plan and commit the crime.
During jury selection in Ms. Zamora’s trial last week, her attorneys laid the foundation for a defense that fingers Graham.
``There is no such thing as an accomplice after the fact in Texas,″ Linebarger told potential jurors. ``If you are in the presence of a crime as it is committed, you have no duty under the law to report that crime. You may have a moral duty, but no legal duty.″
Immediately after their arrests, both Ms. Zamora and Graham seemed intent on staying true to each other, exchanging jail cell letters with each other and friends proclaiming their love.
``I pray that God gives us another chance at life,″ Ms. Zamora wrote in September. ``We are not bad people. We were young, in love and not thinking straight.″
But the love has been reported to have soured since attorneys for Ms. Zamora began to argue that the two should be tried separately because some of Graham’s statements were false.
If convicted, Ms. Zamora will receive a life sentence since prosecutors chose not to seek the death penalty.