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Friend says Zamora told her of killing Witness says parents of accused also knew months before arrest

THE BALTIMORE SUN

FORT WORTH, Texas -- Diane Zamora's parents and best friend knew months before her arrest that she and her boyfriend had killed 16-year-old Adrianne Jones, according to the first day's testimony in Zamora's murder trial.

But they all kept quiet, even after police arrested the wrong person, according to Zamora's former friend, Kristina Mason.

Mason testified for two hours yesterday, giving the first detailed, public description of Jones' murder, as she said Zamora described it to her. Mason said she did not tell police what she knew, and lied when first questioned, because "I was afraid that she would kill me or that someone would come after me. Having your best friend kill someone is too much to handle."

Mason said Zamora of Fort Worth also related that she had told her parents, who then held a family meeting and prayed about the matter. Zamora said she told her family because "she needed spiritual guidance," Mason testified. Zamora's parents are expected to testify in the trial.

While a midshipman at the U.S. Naval Academy in September 1996, Zamora was arrested and charged with killing Jones, who apparently had a one-time tryst with Zamora's boyfriend, Air Force Academy cadet David Graham. Jones was found in a field south of Fort Worth on Dec. 4, 1995, shot twice in the face.

In an opening statement, assistant Tarrant County prosecutor Michelle Hartman told jurors that Jones died because Zamora "ordered an execution."

L "To prove his love to her, Adrianne must die," Hartman said.

Zamora's attorney, John Linebarger, said in his opening statement that he would show jurors how police mishandled the investigation and how Zamora fell for Graham, who lied to her about his tryst with Jones and then "took" Zamora's virginity.

For Linda Jones, Adrianne's mother, that night, Dec. 3, 1995, began with Adrianne getting home from her job at a fried chicken restaurant, after which mother and daughter went to a nearby fitness center where the athletic teen worked out for an hour while the mother watched.

After a long phone conversation with a boy Adrianne told her mother was "David from cross country," Adrianne said good night and went to bed. It was the last time Linda Jones would see her daughter alive.

Mason said she learned what happened about a week after Jones' body was found, when a tearful Zamora confessed to her.

"They were planning to snap her neck and drop her body to the bottom of the lake," Mason said.

Mason testified that Zamora told her she and Graham picked up Jones at Jones' house; Graham drove, and Zamora hid behind the rear seat. When they arrived at a remote field in Mansfield -- Graham's and Jones' hometown -- Zamora crawled from her hiding spot and tried to hit Jones with a barbell, Mason said.

Jones escaped through the car window and ran until she tripped over a barbed-wire fence, Mason said. Graham "grabbed a gun and ran after her and shot her," she said.

Jurors were shown close-up photographs of the body. A Tarrant County medical examiner's investigator said Jones had been shot at close range. Two bullets were found tangled in her hair.

Prosecutors have charged Zamora and Graham with capital murder, alleging that the murder occurred during a kidnapping. But prosecutors -- partly at Linda Jones' request -- are not seeking the death penalty.

Graham is to be tried after Zamora. Both defendants have been held in a Fort Worth jail since their arrest in September 1996. Zamora's arrest came after she told roommates at the Naval Academy what she and Graham had done.

Zamora sat yesterday with her three attorneys, wearing a dark-green skirt and plaid blazer.

She did not react but scribbled notes on a pad when her former best friend called her a "murderer." Mason said she still cares for Zamora, but they are no longer best friends. "I love the person she was."

Pub Date: 2/03/98

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