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Saturday, July 18, 1998

Zamora's mother testifies

By CHIP BROWN / Associated Press Writer

NEW BRAUNFELS, Texas (AP) -- The mother of former Naval Academy midshipman Diane Zamora testified Friday that her daughter never discussed the events surrounding the murder of Adrianne Jones prior to her daughter's arrest.

Speaking in a soft, timid voice, Gloria Zamora described her daughter -- now sentenced to life in prison for the 1995 death of Miss Jones -- as "real quiet" but someone who "worked hard at what she wanted and she achieved it."

Mrs. Zamora broke into tears when prosecutor Mike Parrish showed her a photograph of her daughter with former Air Force Academy cadet David Graham, 20, who is now on trial for capital murder in the death of Miss Jones.

Graham's attorney, Dan Cogdell, says he intends to prove that Miss Zamora acted alone in the shooting and bludgeoning of Miss Jones, 16, because she was jealous and considered her a romantic rival for Graham's affection.

Both Graham and Zamora, who were once engaged to be married, have confessed to the killing and since recanted.

Cogdell says Graham confessed because he "worshipped" Miss Zamora, his first love, and had agreed to help cover up the crime with her if she ever got caught.

When Parrish asked Mrs. Zamora if Graham had ever purchased a handgun for her daughter, she replied, "No, sir, not to the best of my knowledge."

"Did you ever see your daughter with a handgun?" Parrish asked.

"No," said Mrs. Zamora, who was called as a prosecution witness.

Mrs. Zamora testified about the months leading up to the night of the murder in December 1995, including a car wreck that left her daughter with severe injuries to three fingers on her left hand.

Prosecutors have attempted to show that scars found on Miss Jones neck were from the left hand of an attacker and that Miss Zamora's hand was too damaged and weak to leave such scars.

On cross examination, however, Mrs. Zamora agreed with Cogdell that by the time of the murder, Miss Zamora's left hand was free of an immobilizing cast and of bandages and that she was in physical therapy with some movement in the fingers.

Earlier, Jennifer McKearney, the former Naval Academy roommate of Miss Zamora testified that the cadet said her fiancee shot and killed Miss Jones.

"She told me that she and her boyfriend, David, had killed a girl while they were in high school," Ms. McKearney said. "She said the girl had slept with David and she said in order to make up for it, he had to kill her."

The prosecution contends that Graham killed Miss Jones at the urging of Miss Zamora.

When asked on re-direct examination who shot Miss Jones, Ms. McKearney said, "She clearly stated that David pulled the trigger."

Ms. McKearney testified that she and another roommate turned in Miss Zamora to authorities after a conversation in the early morning of Aug. 25, 1996, in which Miss Zamora confessed that she and Graham killed Miss Jones.

The two were arrested in September 1996 after both had left the Fort Worth area to go to the military academies. Miss Zamora, 20, was convicted in February after attempting to blame Graham for the killing.

Jeff Alcorn, a Naval paralegal who helped search Miss Zamora's room at the academy, testified to finding a day calendar in which an arrow pointing to the date of Miss Jones' murder had been drawn with a notation that read, "Adrianne 1:38 a.m."

Alcorn said he seized dozens of letters that Graham had written to Miss Zamora.

In an attempt to show Graham's obsession with Miss Zamora, Cogdell asked Alcorn, "It appears every day David Graham was writing Miss Zamora, isn't that right?"

Alcorn replied, "Yes, sir."

Also Friday, Grand Prairie police Officer Don Swanz testified to finding a 9 millimeter handgun wrapped in a T shirt, duct tape and three plastic grocery bags in the attic of Graham's father's home. Prosecutors have alleged that the gun was the murder weapon.

Swanz testified that the easiest way to access the attic where the gun was found was through David Graham's bedroom.

Under direct examination by Parrish, Swanz deviated from prior testimony and said he was wearing gloves when he opened the bundle containing the gun.

He previously had testified that he wasn't wearing gloves.

Cogdell attempted to show that Swanz, who is 56 years old, had a history of memory problems and that nothing he said could be relied upon.

Swanz testified that a datebook separate from the one found in Miss Zamora's room at the Naval Academy was also found in the Graham residence. It too had a notation reading "1:38 a.m." on the date Miss Jones was murdered.

Cogdell attempted to show that the datebook and the writing of the notation belonged to Miss Zamora. Cogdell also attempted show that a listing under the letter "J" in the datebook with Adrianne Jones' name and addresss was written by Miss Zamora.

Graham could get a life prison sentence if convicted of the capital murder charge against him. The state is not seeking the death penalty.

Testimony was to resume Monday.

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