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Diane Zamora
Born January 21, 1978 (1978-01-21) (age 32)
Charge(s) First degree murder
Penalty Life in prison
Status Imprisoned
Occupation Former US Navy midshipman

Diane Michelle Zamora (born January 21, 1978), is a former US Navy midshipman who is serving a life sentence for her role in the December 4, 1995 murder of Adrianne Jones, a girl Zamora believed was a romantic rival for her boyfriend, David Graham.

Contents

Early life

Zamora, the oldest child of an electrician and nurse, grew up in Crowley, Texas. She was a member of the National Honor Society and belonged to several clubs at Crowley High School, including the Civil Air Patrol. At the time of her high school graduation in 1996, Zamora was scheduled to attend the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. Reared by a very religious family, Zamora reportedly was known as a person who kept to herself while in high school, devoted herself to her studies, and was very careful about whom she dated and with whom she associated. With the exception of David Graham, Zamora found most high school boys immature. Apparently, she very rarely wore makeup at school, and although viewed by teachers and former classmates as "not unfriendly," Zamora was not considered a high school socialite.

Relationship with Graham

Friends and family of the couple said that Graham and Zamora were enthralled with each other; their relationship seemed intense. Graham and Zamora began dating in August 1995, and only about a month later, they announced their engagement to their families. Graham and Zamora planned to marry in the year 2000, shortly after their scheduled graduations from their respective academies. Some friends and relatives, however, thought that Graham and Zamora had an unhealthy obsession with one another. According to reports, Zamora supporters claim that Graham dominated the relationship, always having his arm around Zamora and even allegedly refusing to let her family members hug her during her high school graduation.

According to David Graham, on November 4, 1995, he had sex with Mansfield High School track teammate Adrianne Jones. The two had their encounter after Graham parked his car behind an elementary school while driving Jones home from a track meet in Lubbock. Guiltridden over his infidelity, Graham confessed the cheating to Zamora around December 1. An enraged Zamora allegedly demanded that Graham atone for his transgression by killing Jones.

Law enforcement officials associated with the case, such as Grand Prairie police sergeant Alan Patton, who took Zamora's confession, have stated that the sexual encounter did not actually happen, but was invented by Graham to provoke his girlfriend to jealousy:

"For those who don't remember, this was a totally brutal, unnecessary murder. David had lied to Diane about an alleged sexual tryst that never happened with Adrianne Jones. If he had said, 'I was just kidding, I was just trying to make you jealous', Adrianne Jones would still be alive today."—Sgt. Alan Patton, Grand Prairie Police Department

David Graham now says that the infidelity with Adrianne actually did take place, however distasteful it was to her family.

The Crime

On December 4, 1995, Graham and Zamora carried out their plan. Around 10:30 PM, Graham called Adrianne Jones and arranged a date. Unbeknownst to her parents, Jones snuck out of her house later that night to go out with Graham, who picked her up outside.

Prosecutors say that Graham then drove to a deserted road near Grand Prairie, Texas. Zamora was hiding in the hatchback of the car. According to reports, the original plan was that Zamora would come up behind a seated Jones and snap her neck. Graham would help her dump the body in a nearby lake. Graham and Zamora planned to tie weights to Jones' body so that it would sink to the bottom of the lake.

However, things did not go as planned. Apparently, when Zamora grabbed Jones, a struggle ensued. Graham tried to snap her neck by turning it as is done in movies, but found it to be ineffective. Zamora then hit Jones in the head with a weight, but Jones somehow managed to get out of Graham's car and run away. According to his confession, Zamora told Graham that he could not let Jones get away. Graham took his gun, tracked Jones down in the field, and shot her twice in the head. According to Graham's confession, when he returned to the car, he and Zamora exchanged "I love you's." Then, Zamora allegedly told Graham, "We shouldn't have done that, David." They then disposed of their bloody clothes and went home. Adrianne Jones's body was discovered the next day.

Graham's report of having sex is unfounded. It is merely suspicion. Police found Jones' blood inside the car, splattered on the passenger door. Zamora claims that the first time Jones was struck was outside the car, by Graham. Reportedly, Diane Zamora hit Jones in the head with a dumbbell. She ran out of the car, with the blow to her head and then across the street. Skull depressions in Jones' head matched a strike in the head with a dumbbell. Zamora said herself it was stupid for her to go in the car with Graham. According to Zamora, all of the details from her confession were lies.

As of reports to Jones sneaking out: Her brother watched her walk out of the house, saying that she appeared perfectly fine. Jones left the house of her own accord, in disagreement with prior reports of her being kidnapped and forced into a car at gunpoint.

Revelations

In the months following Jones's murder Graham entered the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado, while Zamora enrolled at the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland where she confessed the murder to her two roommates during separate conversations.[citation needed] Zamora apparently told her roommates that she and Graham loved each other so much that they had killed for one another. Zamora's roommates reported her story to the naval chaplain who in turn told the naval attorney at Annapolis. He called the local police stations as well. In the Navy if there is a crime witnessed or committed by another member or heard from another member it has to be reported. Police in the Dallas-Fort Worth area were then contacted. Zamora insisted Graham was guilty of the entire crime while Graham countered by laying all blame at her feet.

The movie

Even before the couple's trials began, the case became the subject of a 1997 made-for-television movie called Swearing Allegiance (Love's Deadly Triangle: The Texas Cadet Murder). The movie tells the story of the murder of Adrianne Jones. The character of Diane Zamora was played by Holly Marie Combs.

The trial

Diane Zamora’s two-week trial began in February 1998 in Fort Worth with Judge Joe Drago III presiding. It received national media attention, providing Court TV with some of its highest ratings ever in their film coverage of the capital murder trial. Some of the interest centered on whether she was the submissive victim or the jealous driving force behind the murder.

Under Texas law, murder is the intentional killing of another human being, while capital murder includes murder with an underlying felony of kidnapping, robbery, aggravated sexual assault, arson, or obstruction. In this case, the prosecutor believed that Adrianne Jones was deceptively lured from her home by David Graham asking her for a bogus date, or she would not have been in the car. Moreover, the couple committed obstruction when Zamora allegedly ordered Graham to stalk Jones out into the field and to shoot her so that she could not tell the authorities.

Conviction

On February 17, 1998, after over six hours of deliberations over two days, a Texas jury found Diane Zamora guilty of capital murder in the death of Adrianne Jones. Because of the Jones family's request that prosecutors not seek the death penalty against her, Zamora received a mandatory sentence of life in prison. Her TDCJ number is 00814993 and her State ID number is 05713081. Zamora will not be eligible for parole until she has served at least 40 years of her sentence. According to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice website, her earliest parole eligibility date is September 5, 2036.

Updates

On June 17, 2003, Diane married Steven Mora, another inmate in a Texas prison. A judge in San Antonio performed the wedding ceremony in which Zamora's mother and a male friend stood in for the imprisoned couple in the county's first proxy marriage.[2] Earlier that year, Zamora and Steven Mora had written the county clerk's office asking for a marriage license. KDFW-TV in Dallas obtained a copy of the marriage certificate—dated June 17 and issued by Bexar County—naming Zamora, and Mora of San Antonio.

On April 8, 2007, Zamora was interviewed by Stone Phillips on Dateline. Her appeals were exhausted and with her lawyer's permission she took a polygraph test administered by Dateline. Her story was now that Graham and she were breaking up, and that Graham was using the murder to “tie her to him”. She noted that she obstructed justice by cleaning the car afterwards and was an accessory after the fact. However Zamora pointed out that the jury had convicted her of intending to kill Jones, which she denied was true. When she took the Dateline polygraph the administrator repeatedly told her to stop her exaggerated breathing, a counter-measure for polygraph tests. Dateline’s polygraph administrator said he believed he had enough to actually say Zamora failed the crucial question on whether she had intended to kill Jones. Two other independent polygraph administrators, who were not at the test, were contacted by Dateline and asked to review the results said that they could offer no opinion due to counter-measures. Zamora responded to Phillips that she was nervous and hyperventilating despite being told all the questions in advance and reviewing them with the administrator before the test.

She is currently incarcerated at the Mountain View Unit Gatesville, Texas.

References

  1. ^ Richard Abshire. "Zamora breaks silence - In interview, cadet killer says she feared lover planned to murder her," The Dallas Morning News, April 7, 2007, page 1B.
  2. ^ Susan Schrock. "Inmates' marriage in Texas gains nod," Deseret News (Salt Lake City, Utah), May 23, 2003 (originally in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram). Retrieved 2008-02-17.

External links

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