A spouse accused of conspiring with the person suspected of killing her husband within the couple’s Westminster condominium seven years in the past was sentenced Friday, July 23, to 25-years-to-life behind bars.
Final month, a jury discovered Olga Vasquez-Collazos, now 44, responsible of homicide and conspiracy prices within the killing of husband Adrian Zapata, who was 58.
Throughout Friday’s sentencing, members of the family described the anger and grief they felt about Zapata’s loss of life and remembered him as a charismatic and loving man.
“My brother was not good, none of us are, however he was vital to so many people and our lives won’t ever be the identical with out him,” Kathy Diersing stated in a press release to the court docket.
“I miss him a lot and am so grateful that justice has prevailed and that my brother will lastly be capable of relaxation in peace.”
Renzo Zapata, who was Adrian Zapata’s son from one other relationship, stated his “blood boiled and my coronary heart broke” as he listened in the course of the trial to proof of “how arduous he labored to please somebody who didn’t love him. …
“My dad by no means hesitated to assist others when he may,” he stated. “His life was valuable, and my life won’t ever be the identical with out him.”
The person who prosecutors accuse of finishing up the deadly beating and stabbing whereas Zapata slept, Roberto Rafael Saavedra Gallardo, nonetheless faces his personal trial.
Jurors decided the killing was not carried out for monetary achieve, apparently rejecting the idea that Gallardo and Vasquez-Collazos wished Zapata useless a minimum of partly for the penthouse condominium he owned in his native Peru and for his retirement cash.
Vasquez-Collazos additionally grew up in Peru, in a small city, and had two kids in her 20s earlier than marrying the older Zapata in 2011 and shifting to the USA. The couple by no means had youngsters collectively.
In Peru, Vasquez-Collazos and Gallardo dated earlier than she met Zapata, and apparently in the USA rekindled their relationship. Residing in Van Nuys, Gallardo labored at a physique store.
Zapata apparently suspected his spouse was dishonest on him, regardless of her utilizing a mobile phone he didn’t learn about to remain involved with Gallardo. Deputy District Lawyer Janine Madera advised jurors that Vasquez-Collazos by no means cherished her husband.
“It was about coming to the U.S., it was about cash,” the prosecutor stated.
On Might 22, 2014, Vasquez-Collazos ran right into a neighbor’s house, saying she had returned to her condominium to seek out her husband useless of their bed room.
Detectives suspected the scene had been staged to make it appear to be a theft try: Bed room gadgets have been displaced however valuables had been left in plain sight. Additionally they believed that somebody had tried to make it appear to be Zapata had been having an affair by planting a nightie and condoms in his automobile.
Vasquez-Collazos supplied detectives with an alibi for the morning of the killing, when she was dropping her youngsters off at college, choosing up a health care provider’s be aware from UCI a couple of latest surgical procedure and dropping it off at her office.
However detectives, via textual content and telephone data, realized Vasquez-Collazos had been speaking with Gallardo the night time earlier than the killing and met with him the morning it occurred.
Lawyer Joel Garson, who represented Vasquez-Collazos, advised jurors that there was not “a single textual content, a single Skype, a single telephone name,” between Vasquez-Collazos and Gallardo that “discusses a homicide, a plot, a need for somebody to die.”
The protection legal professional denied that Vasquez-Collazos performed any function in her husband’s loss of life, saying she met with Gallardo the day of the killing to present him again the “secret mobile phone” and to inform him that her relationship with Zapata had improved.