Zapata Murder Trial Underway In King County, Washington

By Steve Moriarty.

(Seattle, WA). Jesus Mezquia, 48, was arrested January 11, 2003 in Miami and extradited to Seattle after DNA linked him to the death Mia Zapata, 27, leader of seminal Seattle post-punk band The Gits.

Zapata's body was found on July 7, 1993 in Seattle's Central Area. Zapata had been strangled to death. Mezquia is charged with first-degree murder and if convicted faces 25 years to life in prison. He is no stranger to the law and has several prior convictions. According to a criminal complaint filed in July of 1993, he was living within walking distance of the area where Zapata was brutally murdered.

The trial began March 1, 2004 in King County Superior Court. Zapata's former band-mate, Steve Moriarty released a statement today: "Dear Friends,

The man charged with the murder of my friend and band-mate in The Gits, Mia Zapata, goes on trial today for her murder in 1993. The trial could take a month or more. There is solid evidence to support the prosecution's case.

Periodic updates on the trial are at: