Police: Teen Cadets Motivated to Murder by Guilt, Passion, Anger
MANSFIELD, Texas (AP) _ When Diane Zamora learned her boyfriend had a one-time fling with another teen-ager, police say, she told him there was only one way to atone for his betrayal: Murder.
Zamora and David Graham, now first-year cadets at two prestigious military academies, are in custody today after confessing to the slaying of 16-year-old Adrianne Jones, a high school classmate of Graham.
``She told him the only way for him to make it right was to kill her,″ said Grand Prairie police Detective Alan Patton. ``Their motivation for doing this was his guilt, their passion for each other and her anger.″
Jones’ body was found Dec. 4 on a farm road in Grand Prairie, about 10 miles west of Dallas. She had been shot twice in the face.
Zamora, who attended another high school in the Fort Worth area, met and began dating Graham several years ago at a volunteer Civil Air Patrol function.
Last year, the two found out on the same day that they had received military academy appointments _ she to the U.S. Naval Academy in Maryland, he to the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado.
Zamora, 18, who was profiled by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram in June, told the newspaper that she planned to marry Graham, 18, on Aug. 13, 2000, after both graduated.
But police say the two had already committed a crime that could ruin those plans.
The encounter that fueled the murder plot was one night last November on a school bus home from a high school track meet in Lubbock.
Graham and Jones, an attractive and popular 10th-grade runner and soccer player, had a one-time fling on the bus. That, police say, was the extent of their romance.
But Graham’s betrayal enraged Zamora.
Graham and Zamora told police they hatched a plan to kill Jones and dump her corpse, weighted with barbells, into Joe Pool Lake, a few miles south of their homes.
Graham picked up Jones for what she thought was a date, and headed for the lake. Zamora hid in the trunk of his car, and attacked Jones with a barbell once they arrived at the lake, according to authorities. Graham shot her in the head, police say.
About two weeks after Jones’ body was found, a 17-year-old Mansfield boy who maintained his innocence was charged with the killing. In January, he was released after passing a polygraph test.
According to unidentified Navy sources quoted in The (Baltimore) Sun, the break in the case came when Zamora told her roommates that she had killed someone in a casual conversation that posed the question: ``What’s the worst thing you have ever done in your life?″
The roommate told academy officials, who alerted police in Texas.
Zamora was arrested Friday at her Fort Worth home, where she returned after being placed on leave from the academy since last week. She was jailed today on $250,000 bail in the Grand Prairie jail.
Graham, charged at the Colorado Springs, Colo., academy, was in jail awaiting extradition to face the murder charge.
Investigators Friday found the 9mm handgun wrapped in duct tape and a T-shirt in the attic of the house where Graham’s parents live in Mansfield, a bedroom community of 22,000 just south of Fort Worth.
Shocked residents talked Friday about all the wasted potential: a murder victim described as ``smart, witty, just pretty as all get-out″ and two cadets training among the nation’s finest military recruits.
``I’m extremely shocked. For kids that have had this kind of education laid at their feet to have done that,″ said Marilyn Gerloff, senior vice president of Overton Bank & Trust.
Patton, who elicited Zamora’s confession, said she cried and asked God’s forgiveness. But she seemed most concerned about being away from Graham, and asked the detective whether the two could be sent to the same prison.
``I guess you could call it remorseful,″ Patton said. ``This passion she has for him is unlike anything I have ever seen.″