|Born||January 21, 1978|
|Occupation||Former US Navy midshipman|
|Criminal charge||Capital murder|
|Criminal penalty||Life imprisonment with the possibility of parole|
Diane Michelle Zamora (born January 21, 1978) is a former United States Naval Academy midshipman who is serving a life sentence for the December 4, 1995, murder of Adrianne Jones, a girl Zamora believed was a romantic rival for her boyfriend, David Graham.
Relationship with Graham
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.
Around December 1, Graham confessed to Zamora that he had cheated with Mansfield High School track teammate Adrianne Jones. An enraged Zamora allegedly demanded that Graham atone for his transgression by killing Jones.
Law enforcement officials associated with the case have stated that the sexual encounter did not actually happen, but was invented by Graham. "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|The Dallas Morning News, April 7, 2007
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 sneaked out of her house later that night to go out with Graham, who picked her up outside.
Graham then drove to a deserted road near Grand Prairie, Texas. Zamora was hiding in the hatchback of the car. 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's body so that it would sink to the bottom of the lake.
The murder didn't go according to plan. Zamora grabbed Jones and 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 asked Graham, "What have we done?", and he replied "I don't know, I can't believe we just did that." They then disposed of their bloody clothes and went home. Adrianne Jones's body was discovered the next day.
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.
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 and incarceration
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.
On July 24, 1998, after a separate trial, a Texas jury found David Graham guilty of capital murder. He was also sentenced to life in prison.
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. Earlier that year, Zamora and Steven Mora had written to the county clerk's office, requesting 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. They were divorced as of 2010.
Zamora was interviewed by Stone Phillips on Dateline in a show broadcast in April, 2007. 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. 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.
- Newton, Chris (February 18, 1998). "Zamora found guilty of capital murder". Abilene Reporter-News. AP. Retrieved January 6, 2013.
- Brown, Chip (July 18, 1998). "Zamora's mother testifies". Abilene Reporter-News. AP. Retrieved January 6, 2013.
- Bardwell, S.K. (March 13, 2003). "Inmates who never met say they want to marry".
- 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.
- Diane Zamora's police confession
- Zamora found guilty of capital murder
- Former Air Force cadet gets life in Texas teen's slaying
- 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.
- "Diane Zamora: 'I’m not a killer'". Dateline NBC.