Closing arguments begin in Zamora murder trial
February 16, 1998
Zamora on the stand Wednesday
Web posted at: 6:07 a.m. EST (1107 GMT)
FORT WORTH, Texas (CNN) -- The jury in the murder trial of Diane Zamora on Monday began deliberating the fate of the former Naval Academy midshipman, who is accused of conspiring to kill her romantic rival.
Closing arguments began Monday morning with the jury expected to begin deliberations shortly afterward.
Prosecutors have painted Zamora as a ruthless, vindictive woman who feels no remorse about killing a romantic rival. The defense contends she is a victim, trying to take the fall for a sexually abusive boyfriend.
Zamora, 20, is accused of conspiring with her ex-fiancé, David Graham, to kill 16-year-old Adrianne Jones. Prosecutors say Zamora encouraged Graham to go along with the killing after learning he and Jones had a sexual liaison.
If convicted of capital murder, Zamora will automatically receive a life sentence and be eligible for parole in 40 years. Prosecutors have opted not to seek the death penalty at the request of Jones' family.
On Thursday, the last day of testimony, a defense psychologist testified that Zamora is suicidal, and has mutilated herself by cutting her wrists. Psychologist Michael Lobb didn't say whether Zamora was suicidal at the time of Jones' death, but he did say that there was evidence that she had been emotionally weak for years.
Lobb also described Zamora's relationship with Graham as "dominant-submissive," with Zamora being submissive.
In her testimony last week, Zamora blamed Graham, a 20-year-old former Air Force Academy cadet, for the 1995 killing. She admitted being present when he killed Jones but said she never struck the girl or encouraged Graham to kill her. This contradicts Zamora's earlier confession, in which she said she had urged Graham to kill the girl and had taken part in the slaying.
Zamora has testified that police read her Graham's confession to the killing and, in an attempt "to take the blame for him," she memorized it and made a confession that conformed to his. She also claimed she tried to retract the statement but police wouldn't let her.
According to Zamora and Graham's confessions, Zamora hid in the back seat of her parents' car while Graham drove Jones to an isolated field. Zamora then hit Jones over the head with a dumbbell weight and Graham shot her when she tried to flee, according to the statements.
Graham will be tried later this year.
Reuters contributed to this report.
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