The Texas Cadet Murder Case
Jealousy - Revenge
Number of victims: 1
Date of murder: December 3, 1995
Date of arrest:
September 6, 1996
Date of birth: January 21, 1978
Adrianne Jones, 16 (her romantic rival)
Method of murder:
Status: Sentenced to life in prison on
February 17, 1998. She will not be eligible for parole for 40
Diane Zamora and her fiancé,
David Graham, had a bright future ahead of them. High school
sweethearts, the couple had met in 1991 as volunteers in the Texas
Civil Air Patrol. She was an honor roll student bound for Annapolis,
and he was a track star with an appointment to the Air Force Academy.
But their ambitions to serve their country were derailed on December
4th, 1995, when a farmer discovered the battered body of Adrianne
Jones, a sophomore member of David's high school track team, laying in
a field. Brutally beaten, she had been shot in the head.
After nine months of dead ends, investigators got a tip from one of
Diane's Annapolis classmates. According to the informant, Diane had
admitted that she and David had murdered Adrianne after David had
confessed that he'd had sex with the girl.
In September of 1996, both Zamora and Graham were arrested for the
murder. Given separate trials, the young lovers turned on each other
and said that the killing had been the other's idea. Neither defense
worked. Both were found guilty and given life sentences.
Diane Michelle Zamora (born January 21,
1978), is a former United States Naval Academy 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.
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
"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
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 to 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
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.
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.
Zamora is currently incarcerated by the Texas
Department of Criminal Justice at the Mountain View Unit in
Gatesville, Texas (ID# 0814993). Graham, with the TDCJ ID# 00837388,
is currently incarcerated at the Ellis Unit in Walker County, Texas.
The parole eligibility date for both Zamora and Graham is September 5,
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.
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. 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.
Zamora found guilty of capital murder
By Chris Newton - TexNews.com
February 18, 1998
FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) -- Former Naval Academy
midshipman Diane Zamora, once an ambitious honor student with dreams
of becoming an astronaut, instead will spend 40 years behind bars for
killing a romantic rival.
A jury deliberated for six hours Monday, then
needed only minutes Tuesday morning to convict Ms. Zamora of the Dec.
4, 1995, slaying of 16-year-old Adrianne Jones of Mansfield.
Showing no emotion as the verdict was read, Ms.
Zamora automatically received a life sentence because prosecutors were
not seeking the death penalty. She will be eligible for parole after
During the two-week trial, Ms. Zamora tearfully
told the jury that she confessed to police under duress. The
20-year-old defendant said she had merely read, memorized and repeated
the same statement given by then-fiance David Graham, a former Air
Force Academy cadet.
One juror who requested anonymity told The
Associated Press that her confession was the most damning piece of
"No matter how you look at it, Adrianne Jones would
still be alive if not for Diane Zamora. That seemed obvious even
though the specifics were sometimes cloudy," the juror said.
Prosecutors said Ms. Zamora and Graham, her high
school sweetheart whom she planned to wed after they graduated from
their respective military academies, killed Miss Jones to cleanse
their relationship after Graham and the girl had a one-time affair.
Miss Jones' father, mother and two brothers spoke
to the court following the verdict. Ms. Zamora continued to remain
stone-faced, although many in the courtroom dabbed their eyes.
"We all loved and enjoyed Adrianne very much," said
the girl's father, Bill Jones, speaking slowly while fighting his
emotions. "We all looked forward to a life with her. ... We will never
know what heights she would have (risen) to because of this animal
act. And we shall have to wonder the rest of our lives."
Ms. Zamora's family appeared solemn as state
District Judge Joe Drago read the verdict. When he read the sentence,
one of her relatives gasped "Oh, God!" and several others began
crying, clutching each other. One family member collapsed in the
crowded courtroom while the group prayed in a circle with their
Later, Carlos Zamora, Ms. Zamora's father, thanked
the defense team and said his family had made peace with the verdict.
"I thank God for being in control," he said. "We
believe in in Diane. We love her."
Lead prosecutor Mike Parrish said he was stunned by
Ms. Zamora's lack of reaction Tuesday. Then, he used her own words
"As she once said about Adrianne, 'She deserved it.
She deserved what she got,' " Parrish said.
Defense attorney John Linebarger said the
prosecution never proved its case. "There are a number of things we
will base an appeal on ... the judge's not letting the jury consider a
murder charge, the admission of David Graham's statement as evidence,"
Drago told jurors Monday that they must decide
whether Ms. Zamora was guilty of capital murder or the lesser charges
of kidnapping, false imprisonment or assault. He did not give them the
option of murder, a minor victory for prosecutors who said they wanted
only capital murder considered because the evidence didn't support a
The juror who spoke to the AP said much of the
panel's discussion was about Texas' law of parties, which states that
any accomplices must be charged with the same crime as if they
"We felt she was an accessory, but a lot of people
felt like she didn't commit a violent act or commit a head injury,"
the juror said. "Some felt she didn't deserve to do life in prison ...
but we followed the judge's orders and the law."
Shortly after Miss Jones was murdered, a
17-year-old Mansfield youth was charged as a suspect. Bryan McMillan
was released from jail when no physical evidence could link him to the
crime and he passed a polygraph.
For months, the trail was cold. Then authorities
were tipped by Ms. Zamora's friends, where she was a freshman at the
U.S. Naval Academy. They said she confessed to them about the girl's
Ms. Zamora admitted to the slaying shortly after
being arrested in September 1996. Graham also was taken into custody.
In separate interviews with police, Graham and Ms.
Zamora gave similar stories about driving Miss Jones to a remote lake,
where Ms. Zamora hit the girl with a barbell and Graham shot her as
she tried to flee.
Both said the slaying was to appease Ms. Zamora,
who was enraged that Miss Jones and Graham had sex once.
Defense attorneys tried to portray Ms. Zamora as a
polite, ambitious, academic all-star who became a victim of mental and
sexual abuse by Graham, whom they described as manipulative and
While admitting she was present when Miss Jones
died, Ms. Zamora testified that she did not strike the girl and was
horrified when Graham pulled the trigger.
"We didn't talk about it much but I was supposed to
take the blame for everything," Ms. Zamora testified, explaining why
she mimicked his statement. "The way we saw it, he still had a future
at the Air Force Academy and mine was pretty much over."
Prosecutors offered several witnesses who said Ms.
Zamora confessed to the killing and showed no remorse.
Naval Academy roommate Jennifer McKearney told
jurors that Ms. Zamora said Miss Jones was a "tramp." College friend
Jay Guild said Ms. Zamora told him she'd kill Miss Jones again if she
Ms. Zamora told the jury those prosecution
witnesses were either lying or misunderstood her.
Assistant prosecutor Michele Hartmann portrayed Ms.
Zamora's contentions as a "national conspiracy theory."
"By her words, she is the victim of the justice
system, a lying best friend, lying roommate, an abusive boyfriend and
even of the U.S. Naval Academy," Ms. Hartmann said during closing
The sensational case has made national headlines
and been the focus of two books and a television movie.
Graham will be tried on a capital murder charge
later this year.
Texas v. Diane
"The Diane Zamora
In a case that
captured national attention and spawned a made-for-television movie,
former Navy midshipsman Diane Zamora
went on trial for the 1995 murder of her sexual rival, Adrianne
prosecutors, Zamora, 19, was so enraged when she learned that her high
school sweetheart, David Graham, had a sexual encounter with
Jones that she demanded that he atone for his infidelity by killing
Jones. Prosecutors believed that Zamora helped plan and orchestrate
and Graham blamed each other for Jones's death. In a written
confession to police, Graham implicated Zamora and says that she
demanded Jones's murder. Zamora's defense contended that Graham is
solely responsible for the 16-year-old teen's death. If convicted of
capital murder, Zamora faced life in prison with the possibility of
parole after 40 years. At the request of the victim Adrianne Jones's
family, the state did not seek the death penalty against Graham and
The "Perfect, Pure"
David Graham and Diane Zamora did not fit the mold
of cold, calculating killers. They first met each other in 1991 while
they were both enrolled in a weekly search-and-rescue training class
in the Civil Air Patrol, an Air Force auxiliary organization that
teaches the basics of military life.
Graham, the youngest of four children, was
described by his friends and neighbors in Mansfield, Texas as a
"perfect gentleman" who always said "Yes, sir. No, sir" when he
addressed people. Graham's parents were both former teachers, he
excelled in academics, ran on the Mansfield High School track team,
and was a battalion commander in his high school's Junior ROTC
program. With his close-cropped hairstyle and seemingly business-like
demeanor, Graham almost seemed destined for the military. At the time
of his arrest for Jones's murder, he had just started service at the
Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo.
Diane Zamora, the oldest child of an electrician
and nurse, was a member of the National Honors Society and belonged to
several clubs at her school, Crowley High School. At the time of her
high school graduation, Zamora was scheduled to attend the Naval
Academy in Annapolis, Md. 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 associated with. With the exception of 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.
Friends and family of
the couple reportedly have 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 each other in the year 2000, shortly after their
scheduled graduations from their academies. Some friends and
relatives, however, thought 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 in 1995.
These same people also say that Graham even persuaded Zamora to run on
her school track team, despite the fact that she did not enjoy
However, others claim
Zamora, not Graham, was overly possessive and had an obsession.
These friends and relatives of Graham claim that Zamora allegedly made
Graham quit a couple of jobs because she complained that they were
interfering with their relationship. At Zamora's urging, Graham seemed
to live solely for her. Even Zamora's family has publicly said that
she was so completely in love with Graham that she could barely have a
conversation without mentioning him. Allegedly, Zamora told friends
that her bond with Graham was "pure" and "not an ordinary love."
The Other Woman and
a Moment of Weakness
But the extraordinary, "pure" love between Graham
and Zamora was severely tested when Graham met Adrianne Jones.
Nicknamed "A.J." by her family, Jones was a popular sophomore at
Graham's school, Mansfield High School.
According to her family and friends, like Zamora,
Jones studied hard in school. However, unlike Zamora, she was a high
school socialite whom some teachers and classmates remembered as
having great school spirit. One teacher even told a local newspaper
that she could have envisioned Jones on the school's cheerleading
squad. According to reports, Jones was known to spend hours putting
makeup on before she would go out to events. Apparently, Jones's
mother sometimes called her "Bubble Butt" allegedly because of the
sexy way her rear-end moved when she walked. One close friend Jones
even remembered her as a "big flirt."
Perhaps because of her good looks and outgoing
personality, Jones's parents made her adhere to strict house rules.
Reportedly, they did not allow her to talk on the phone past 10 pm. If
Jones went to the movies, her father was known to ask her to produce
the ticket stub as evidence. And only shortly before her murder was
Jones even allowed to stay out past nine o'clock on weekends. Jones
was not considered a rebel or promiscuous; apparently her parents were
only concerned about protecting her.
Adrianne Jones was also a member of Mansfield's
cross-country track team, where she met David Graham. The two teens
became friends, but no one on the team suspected the attraction
between them. Track teammates thought that Jones, the popular
sophomore, and Graham, the military-bound senior, were only casual
acquaintances. Jones did not even keep Graham's phone number in her
Nonetheless, during a track meet in Lubbock on the
first weekend of November 1995, Graham and Jones became much more than
casual acquaintances. No one knows whether they stayed up late at
night talking during the trip, and no one remembers seeing them
converse. However, when the track team returned to Mansfield on
November 4, Jones allegedly asked Graham to drive her home. They did
not go directly to her house. During the ride, Graham parked behind an
elementary school (allegedly, he claimed in his written confession, at
Jones's request), and he and Jones had sex. (At Graham's trial, both
prosecutors and the defense agreed that the sexual encounter between
Graham and Jones never happened. Prosecutors believed that
Graham made up the tryst to enrage Zamora; the defense believed that a
jealous Zamora had created the affair in her own mind.)
Conspiracy for Revenge
Guilt-ridden over his infidelity, Graham afterwards told Zamora about
his one-night fling. According to Graham's written confession to the
murder for police, she was enraged. "She [Zamora] had been betrayed,
deceived, and forgotten," Graham's statement said. "When we agreed to
be married, she finally let her guard down long enough for our
teen-age hormones to kick in. When this precious relationship we had
was damaged by my thoughtless actions, the only thing that could
satisfy her womanly vengeance was the life of the one that had, for an
instant, taken her place."
Allegedly, Zamora believed that the only way Graham
could prove his love for her and atone for his moment of weakness to
kill Adrianne Jones. So, prosecutors claim, the two proceeded to plot
On Dec. 3, 1995, Graham and Zamora carried out
their plan. Late that night, around 10:30 pm, Graham called and
arranged a date with Jones. (Jones's mother answered the phone and
allowed her to receive the call, despite the 10:00 pm phone curfew.
Apparently, Graham identified himself as, "David from the cross-county
team.") Unbeknownst to her parents, Jones snuck out of her house later
that night to go out with Graham, who picked her up outside her house.
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 nearby lake. Graham and Zamora planned
to tie weights to Jones's body so that it would sink to the bottom of
However, things did not go as planned. Apparently,
when Zamora grabbed Jones, a struggled ensued. 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 bloodyclothes and went home. Adrianne Jones's body
was discovered the next day.
The murder of Adrianne Jones went unsolved for
nearly nine months. Ironically, police did question David Graham about
her death days after the murder. However, because of Graham's
upstanding reputation and seemingly remote connection to Jones, police
did not give him a lie detector test at that time. He was ruled out as
a possible suspect in the murder at that time.
The Break in the Case
In the months following Jones's murder, Graham entered the Air Force
in Colorado, while Zamora enrolled at Annapolis. During that summer,
it appeared that Graham was successfully completing basic training,
but Zamora seemed to have a difficult time adjusting to the rigorous
military life and life without Graham. Amazingly, she confessed the
murder to her two roommates at Annapolis during a late night
conversation in late August 1996. Zamora apparently told her roommates
that she and Graham loved each other so much that they had killed for
The Navy has an honor code, known as the Brigade of
Midshipmen Honor Concept, which requires midshipmen to report
wrongdoing by fellow officers. Failure to adher to the honor code
could lead to an officer's dismissal. (Zamora had also told another
classmate, Jay Guild, about the murder more than a month before her
arrest. However, Guild did not believe her and did not report her
story to Naval authorities. Fearing dismissal under the Navy's honor
code, Guild resigned from Annapolis shortly after Zamora's arrest.)
So, Zamora's roommates reluctantly reported her story to the Naval
chaplain, who then reported the story to the Naval attorney at
Annapolis. Police in Dallas-Forth Worth were then contacted.
Graham and Zamora initially denied
killing Jones when questioned by police. However, both were arrested
in September 1996 soon after Graham failed a polygraph test and
confessed about his role in Jones's death. (Zamora also gave a
statement to police.) Police later recovered the murder weapon and
several dumbbells from Graham's Mansfield home.
The case of David Graham and Diane Zamora inspired
NBC's TV movie, "Love's Deadly Triangle: The Texas Cadet Murder,"
which KXAS-TV (NBC's affiliate in Dallas-Fort Worth) refused to
broadcast when it aired in February 1997. Graham and Zamora have only
seen each other once since their imprisonment during a pre-trial
hearing. Graham's trial will follow his former fiancee's case on a
date to be determined. If convicted of the murder, both could spend
the rest of their lives in jail...rather than with each other.
February 17, 1998, after over six hours of deliberations over two
days, a Texas jury found former Navy midshipman 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. She will
not be eligible for parole until she has served at least 40 years of
the sentence. Zamora's attorney, John Linebarger, indicated that he
would appeal the conviction.
--Bryan Robinson (CourtTV.com)
Diane Zamora's Confession
Grand Prairie Police Department
Date: September 6, 1996. Time statement began 8:43
Place: 801 Conover Drive in Grand Prairie, Texas.
I, Diane Michelle Zamora am 18 years of age and I live at 3804 Royal
Crest in Ft. Worth, Texas.
I am making this statement to Grand Prairie Police
Det. Alan T. PATTON who, before he began questioning me -- while I was
under arrest -- and before I began making this statement, warned me:
(1) That I have the right to remain silent and not make any statement
at all and (2) that any statement I make may be used against me at my
trial (or trials) for the offense (or offenses) concerning which this
statement is made. (3) That any statement I make may be used as
evidence against me in court. (4) That I have the right to employ a
lawyer to be present either before, or during, questioning. (5) That
if I am unable to employ a lawyer I have the right to have a lawyer
appointed, without cost to me, to counsel with me and to advise me
before of during any questioning. (6) That I have the right to stop
answering questions at any time and may stop this interview, or the
making of this statement, at any time whether I have answered some
questions or have made some statements or not.
I do not want to talk to a lawyer before, or
during, the answering of any questions or the making of this
statement. I do hereby knowingly, and voluntarily, waive and give up
my above explained rights and I do make the following voluntary
statement of my own free will and without promises, or offers of
leniency, or favors, and through no fear, coercion of threats of
physical harm by any person (or persons) who-so-ever.
I remember that night, I think November 4, 1995 and
David showed up at my door step. He had just come back from Lubbock
and he had this look in his eyes that was horrible, he looked so
scared. He had this red, stuffed animal dog in his hands. I could tell
something was wrong, but I figured he was just tired. So he wanted to
stay and spend the night. A month later I was coming into my house
with him and I was questioning him about past relationships, because
he always told me that I was his first real girlfriend. I thought that
was kind of strange because most people have some kind of relationship
of one kind or another. I remember he read off a list of names of
girls he had known, or gone places with that were kind of significant.
I will never forget him mentioning the name Adrianne, because that
name kind of stuck in my head. I guess I was asking a lot of
questions, for some reason I felt like I needed to ask about Adrianne.
He held back alot and we just went inside my house. We just decided to
walk inside of the house because we had been sitting inside of the
car. When we got inside we got into a big fight because, as always, he
was trying to make me study for the SAT and I didn't want to. We
fought for awhile and at the end, when we stopped fighting and had
calmed down, he just looked at me and said "I have something to tell,
that is really important." I kind of knew what he was going to tell
me, just by the way he looked at me. He told me "you haven't been the
only girl in my life." He said "I have had sex with someone else
before." I just looked at him in shock and I asked did he mean he
wasn't a virgin when he met me and he said he was. I think that made
me feel even worse cause that mentioned that he lost his virginity to
me, but that he had been with someone else since. All I could do was
question him and scream and blame myself for everything. I remember
reaching out for this big brass thing, this brass rod, and aiming for
him and trying to hit him because I was so upset. He took it away from
and tried to calm me down because I was screaming so hysterically. He
was trying to protect himself from getting hurt, but he was also
trying to protect from hurting myself because I kept ramming my head
against the walls and when I was on the ground I kept ramming my head
into the floor trying to crack my skull, I just didn't want to live
with what he had said to me. I felt like I had lost everything, my
hand wasn't working the way it should and my family wasn't in the best
financial state and now he was telling me the one thing I prized more
than anything else was taken away. I don't think I was thinking, in
fact I know I wasn't thinking, I screamed at him "kill her, kill her."
He was just so scared that he wasn't about to say no to me, I was
still banging my head against the floor. All David wanted to do was
make everything better. It seemed like him agreeing to do that was the
only thing that calmed me down. David promised that he would do that
and David never has broken a promise to me before. On December 2, 1995
we spent basically the weekend trying to get a hold of Adrianne,
nothing was really premeditated, because I think we were both acting
in passion. I think we expected to get caught really fast because we
didn't spend much time thinking about what we were doing. The only
time David planned anything was when he sat me down at this house, for
about five minutes, to calm me down and throw stuff in his bag. The
plan was for David to break her neck and sink he body to the bottom of
Joe Pool lake. About 12:30 a.m. on December 4, 1995 we were at his
house, David had said he would meet Adrianne at about 12:30 a.m. so we
were late. We were driving my green Mazda Protege. It seemed like
David put together what he was going to do, really quick, because he
really didn't have much time to think. The day prior, he had spent
more time calming me down than thinking about what he was going to do.
I would wake up in the middle of the night with nightmares. I couldn't
even look at his face because I thought he was a different person. I
had horrible pictures running through my head about what happened
between him and Adrianne and they made me feel really sick. We met her
at about 1:35 a.m. on December 4, 1995 at her house. David had called
her at around 10:30 p.m. on December 3, 1995 and it was prearranged
for her to come out. She thought she was coming out so they could have
sex again. She came out to the car and got in. I was in the trunk and
David was driving. I remember being real scared because, at a time
like that when you kind of know what's happening you really don't
trust anyone. I remember wanting to turn back, I was afraid to move so
I just laid still in the trunk. David later told me that he felt the
same way, that he wanted to turn back and take her home, but he was
afraid of what I would do or say if he turned back. David usually
always had a gun of some sort with him all the time. I knew that he
had the Makarov 9 mm with him. I also knew that he had the weights. I
don't think we knew what we were really going to do, it was more like
we were going to get out there and just do it. David never specified
an exact location of where he was going, because I don't think he even
knew where he was going. We picked up Adrianne at her house and we
drove for about 15 or 20 minutes. There's a hatch in the back seat and
you can let it down and it leads in to the back seat from the trunk.
David pulled over to the side of the road and Adrianne had already
leaned her seat back and he started, I guess, pretending that he was
going to kiss her and he motioned for me to pull the hatch down. I
remember getting out and seeing that and it made me all the more
angry. I knew he didn't mean it, but it just made a bunch of pictures
run my head again. When she saw me, she kind of freaked out, and David
held her down and said "it's O.K., we just want to talk to you." I
think at that point I could kind of tell he didn't want to do
anything. I asked Adrianne about she and David having sex and she said
that she didn't enjoy it, that there was to much guilt. I guess it was
the way she looked at me when she said it that made me so angry. Even
now I can only remember her eyes, but not her face. I remember
screaming at David all over again, all of it just became so real. I
think I got kind of hysterical and I screamed "just do it, just do
it." David just started wrestling with her basically and she was
trying to get away from him. I remember being scared that she was
going to hurt him and so I reached back, where I knew the weights were
on the ground, to try to hit her with it. I missed, I was just so
nervous, my hands were just shaking to much. Probably the third time I
did hit her on the head with the weight. Things kind of calmed down
real quick and I was still really scared. I think the whole time the
only thing going through my mind was what I was doing, but I knew that
things had gone to far and I couldn't stop. Somehow stopping seemed
scarier that going on. David turned his back, I don't really remember
why, and she slipped out of the window and ran off. We started to
follow her with the car, but he didn't go far because she collapsed
into a field on the side of the road. David jumped out of the car with
his gun because he didn't want to leave someone there that could say
something against us. He started running after her, but she collapsed
before he got to her. He ran back to the car and he said "she's dead."
I was just to scared and I said "are you sure, no she's not." I told
him to shoot her, she's not dead. He was really panicky and he wanted
to take off, but he went back to where she was, cause I told him to.
He shot her twice in the head. He ran back and jumped into the car and
drove off as quick as he could. I remember the first words out of his
mouth were "I love you, baby, do you believe me now." I said "yes, I
believe you, I love you to." I said "what have we done?" His reply was
"I don't know, I can't believe we just did that." We drove off. The
whole time I was pretty panicky. We both know what we had done was
wrong and we both regretted it. I don't think anything could compare
to that fear an that horrible nauseous feeling that I had all week. We
went to John Green's house. I took David clothes and cleaned up his
clothes for him. I think we were afraid to look at each other and in
some ways I think we were really afraid of each other. When I finished
cleaning up his clothes we walked from the bathroom to John Green's
bedroom and just stood there looking at each other for awhile. Until I
broke down crying because I was so scared and we held each other and
prayed that God would forgive us for what we had done. He drove me to
my house on Gatlinburg and we pulled the car into the garage, there
was blood in the car. David was to sick to clean up anything, he was
really pale and sick to his stomach. He wouldn't even step back into
that car for months because it was to horrible of a memory. So I
cleaned it up while he was in my bedroom asleep. I told him just to go
to sleep because he had gone into the bathroom to vomit. He said he
was pretty sick to his stomach. I really don't remember what he did
with the gun right away, but months later he hid it in the attic at
his dads house. He left the weights in my car. I remember later I told
him to come sleep by the fire and so we both went out there and slept
by the fire, the whole time thinking the police were going to come to
the door and arrest us. His father called that morning to make sure he
was up, so he could go to school. Up to that point I don't think
either of us really thought she was dead. But his father asked David
over the phone "did you hear about that girl from Mansfield that was
killed." After he said that we basically knew that she was dead. Those
next few weeks were horrible because I couldn't eat, and neither could
he. He was always really jittery and pale faced. We were both afraid
that each day together would be our last. I remember we went to church
alot, praying that God would forgive us and somehow put us at peace.
Because we were living in fear. I know God has forgiven us. I have
spent alot of time thinking after that. I would pray day and night
that God would send me back so I change what had happened. I would
often start crying and tell David "she didn't have to die." I guess I
was kind of obsessed with praying and hoping that God would answer my
prayers and send me back to fix everything. In alot of ways, I wish I
could have known her better. Everyone talked about how sweet she was
and that's something I will never know. My only comfort was that
everything that happens, happens for a reason and maybe that we didn't
know what it was. But we hoped in time that we would find out, because
I don't see how all that pain could have a reason.
I have read the 4 pages of this statement, each
page of which bears my signature, and the facts contained therein are
true and correct. This statement was finished at 9:46 a.m. on the 6th
day of September, 1996.
David Graham's Confession
It was November 4th,
and I was giving a friend a ride home late one night after returning
from a cross-country meet in Lubbock, Texas. Adrianne surprised me by
asking me to take some turns that I knew were out of the way. After
being directed onto a dark path behind an old elementary school, I
parked the car. The events that followed are not pleasing for me to
relate, as they go completely against the moral background I have
grown to appreciate. They were sexual activities, short-lived and
I did willingly concede to the girl in these
actions, but I knew they were wrong. Never before had I participated
in anything so meaningless and painful. Painful, that is, because I
was letting down the one person I had swore to be faithful to. These
actions were immediately regretted. In an attempt to make them right,
I confessed to my good friend Joseph hours later. I simply asked for
him to listen, then forget. If anyone tells Diane, I said, it will be
The month that followed was one of guilt and shame.
I was always being told by Diane that our relationship was perfect and
pure. The love we shared would never be broken, no one would never
come between us. No one, that is, except that one girl that had stolen
from us our purity. I could never hold anything from Diane, nor she
from me. She knew in my eyes that something was wrong the moment I
decided to confess. When I did tell her, I thought the very life in
her had been torn away. She was angry, she was violent, and she was
For at least an hour she screamed sobs that I
wouldn't have thought possible. It wasn't just jealousy. For Diane,
she had been betrayed, deceived, and forgotten all in that one
meaningless instant in November. The purity which she held so dear had
been tainted in that one unclean act. Diane had always held her
virginity as one of her highest virtues. When we agreed to be married,
she finally let her guard down long enough for our teen-age hormones
to kick in. When this precious relationship we had was damaged by my
thoughtless actions, the only thing that could satisfy her womanly
vengeance was the life of the one that had, for an instant, taken her
Diane's parents had similar problems in their
relationship. She knew her father had often cheated on her mother.
Diane didn't want Adrianne to be the same woman for me that her father
had in his affair. The request of Adrianne's life was, not for a
second, taken lightly by me. I couldn't even believe she would ask
that of me. Well, Diane's beautiful eyes have always played the
strings of my heart effortlessly. I couldn't imagine life without her;
not for a second did I want to lose her. I didn't have any harsh
feelings for Adrianne, but no one could stand between me and Diane. I
was totally in love with her and always will be.
I regret it now, for never did I imagine the
heartache it would cause my school, my friends, Adrianne's family, or
even my community. I guess I just shut it all out of my mind that
instant when I convinced myself that Diane was even worth murder.
After Diane gave me the ultimatum, I thought long and hard about how
to carry out the crime. I was stupid, but I was in love.
The plan was to call Adrianne and convince her to
come out to my car; that worked. The plan was to drive her out near
Joe Pool Lake; that worked. The plan was to (and this was not easy for
me to confess) break her young neck and sink her to the bottom of the
lake with the weights that ended up being hit into her head; that
didn't work. Diane was hidden in the back of the car. It was late,
about 0030 hours (12:30 am) on the morning of December 4th, 1995. I
realized too late that all those quick, painless snaps seen in the
movies were just your usual Hollywood stunts. The quick and painless
crime turned into something that basically scared the [expletive] out
of Diane and I. We realized that it was either her or us, and Diane
struck her in the back of the head with one of the weights while I
I could see in Diane's eyes that she was confused
and scared. She was first acting out of passionate rage, but now she
was fighting from instinct. Adrianne somehow crawled through the
window and, to our horror, ran off. I was panicky and just grabbed the
Makarov 9mm to follow. To our relief (at the time) she was too injured
from the head wounds to go far. She ran into a nearby field and
collapsed. I wanted to just jump in and drive off. We were both shaken
and even surprised by the nature of our actions. Neither Diane nor
myself were ever violent people. In that short instant, I knew I
couldn't leave the key witness to our crime alive. I just pointed and
I was very confused and scared; I probably looked
like the proverbial headless chicken running around the crime scene. I
fired again and ran to the car. Diane and I drove off. The first
things out of our mouths were, "I love you," followed by Diane's "We
shouldn't have done that, David." Well, nice time to tell me I just
wanted it to be a dream. We took the quickest route to I-20, where we
decided to head to a well-trusted friend's home. John Green did
exactly as I suspected: allowed us through his window (the usual
entrance place to his room), allowed us to clean up and collect our
wits, and even loaned me a pair of shorts. My clothing had blood
stains on them, and we disposed of them in a dumpster near Diane's
We then went back to Diane's house, where we
cleaned out the car and went to sleep by the fire. The next day, we
returned the weights to my house. Diane was in shock. I was just
scared. Neither one of us knew why, anymore, we had just done that.
The following days at school were so mentally tough, they make my
summer at the Air Force Academy look like a walk in the park. Never
had I even imagined so much guilt. They announced it on the intercom,
my friends talked about it in the halls, everywhere I turned, someone
was crying or just staring in shock for reasons I alone was the cause
I saw Adrianne's mother in the grocery stores; I
read articles of how her family was coping in the papers. One thing,
in particular, has haunted me constantly for the past eight months. I
read a quote from Linda Jones in which she said, "I hope that her
killer is out there, and he's just being eaten up with guilt." When I
read that, I just wanted it to all go away. I wanted to be able to
drive Adrianne back home, to go to sleep, and to wake up back on
December 3, free to make my decisions all over again.
Diane wanted to go back also. For weeks, her
infatuation was with just being able to go back before September 26,
when she wrecked my truck and injured her hand. She wanted to change
that, and she wanted to keep me from going to Lubbock. Diane was
constantly depressed from the guilt. She was also scared that I would
be arrested. She used to worry herself sick in school over me and have
to call me as soon as school was out to make sure I was OK. It didn't
really matter, however, what any police or detectives found. What
happened was over. Adrianne was gone, I was responsible, and it wasn't
David C. Graham
September 6, 1996.
The Background of the Case
Zamora and David Graham meet each other for the first time at Fort
Worth, Texas while they are both enrolled in weekly search and rescue
training classes in the Civil Air Patrol, an Air Force auxiliary
Zamora and Graham start dating.
Professing their true love for one another, Graham and Zamora announce
their engagement to their families. They intend to marry on August 13,
2000, soon after their planned graduations from their military
academies. Graham and Zamora envision themselves walking under crossed
swords held by other cadets at the end of the ceremony.
November 4, 1995
Graham has sex with track teammate Adrianne Jones, a Mansfield High
School sophomore, while returning from a track meet held in Lubbock,
Texas. The two have their encounter after Graham parked his car behind
an elementary school while driving Jones home. Ridden with guilt over
his infidelity, Graham confesses his affair to Zamora around Dec. 1.
An enraged Zamora allegedly demands that Graham atone for his
trangression by killing Jones.
December 3, 1995
Graham and Zamora murder Jones. The plan begins with Graham calling
Jones and arranging a late-night date with her. Graham picks up Jones,
who sneaks out of her house to see him. After driving to a secluded
area near Grand Prairie, Graham and Zamora, who hides in the car's
hatchback, attack Jones. Frustrated that she is unable to break
Jones's neck during a struggle, Zamora bashes Jones in the head with a
dumbbell. Jones runs out of the car only to be tracked down by Graham
and shot to death in a nearby field. Afterwards, Graham and Zamora
dispose of their bloody clothes.
December 4, 1995
Adrianne Jones's body is discovered by a farmer in Grand Prairie the
next day. Her murder goes unsolved for the next nine months. Police
question Graham in the days following Jones's murder but do not give
him a lie detector test. He is almost immediately ruled out as a
During a late-night conversation, Zamora, who had just started basic
training at Annapolis, tells her two roommates about the murder of
Jones. Zamora says that she and Graham love each other so much, they
proved it by killing for one another. Adhering to the Naval honor
code, the two plebes relay the story to the Naval chaplain, who then
reports the story to the Naval attorney.
August 29-30, 1996
contacting authorities in Dallas-Fort Worth, Naval officials notify
the Grand Prairie Police Department and tell them about Zamora's
story. Detectives soon fly out to Annapolis to question Zamora, who
claims she made the story up. Another team of detectives fly out to
Colorado Springs, Colo. to question Graham, who has just started
service at the Air Force Academy. Soon afterwards, Navy officials
suspend Zamora and send her home pending the investigation. While en
route to Texas, Zamora switches flights and visits Graham before
detectives can question him. Graham later corroborates Zamora's story
September 4, 1996
Graham is arrested in Colorado for the murder of Adrianne Jones and
after failing a polygraph lie detector test, confesses the crime to
authorities. (He typed most of the confession.) Zamora is arrested in
Texas two days later and eventually confesses to the murder.
September 18, 1996
Prosecutors upgrade the charges against Graham and Zamora from murder
to capital murder. Under capital murder in Texas, both could receive
either the death penalty or life in prison.
November 11, 1996
Prosecutors indict Zamora and Graham, and at the request of the
victim's family, announce that they are not seeking the death penalty
against the couple.
February 6, 1997
KXAS-TV, NBC's affiliate in Dallas-Fort Worth, announces that it will
not air the network's made-for-TV movie about the Graham-Zamora case,
"Love's Deadly Triangle: The Texas Cadet Murder." NBC is criticized
nationally for airing a movie about real-life defendants in a crime
before they go to trial.
February 10, 1997
"Love's Deadly Triangle: The Texas Cadet Murder" is televised on NBC
in affiliates other than the Dallas-Fort Worth areas. KXAS-TV, which
decided not to show the movie, airs another motion picture called
"Tender Mercies" in its place. ("Tender Mercies," starring Robert
Duvall, is about an alcoholic former country singer named Mac Sledge
whose friendship with a widow and her young son enables him to resume
August 20, 1997
Joe Drago rules that Graham and Zamora will receive separate trials.
It is reported that Graham and Zamora are blaming each other for
January 18, 1998
selection for Diane Zamora's trial begins in Tarrant County.
January 26, 1998
selection for Diane Zamora's trial is completed. Opening statements in
the trial are scheduled to begin February 2, 1998.
January 27, 1998
Zamora's attorneys file a motion to have her confession kept out her
upcoming trial. Zamora claims that her confession was coerced and that
she was not totally aware of her rights when she was questioned by
authorities. She also says that she only told authorities what she
thought they wanted to hear after they promised her that she could
visit with Graham. Judge Drago doesn't rule on the motion that day but
later admits confession into trial.
February 2, 1998
Testimony in Zamora's trial begins.
February 10-11, 1998
Zamora testifies at her trial and blames Graham for Jones's murder.
She tells jurors that she did not know Graham was going to kill Jones
on the night of the incident and claims that she never intended to
harm the victim. Instead, Zamora claims, she only wanted to confront
Jones over the alleged affair with Graham. Zamora's testimony also
focuses on an allegedly abusive relationship she had with Graham.
February 17, 1998
Zamora is convicted of the capital murder of Adrianne Jones and
receives a mandatory life sentence in prison. She will not be eligible
for parole for 40 years.
April 24, 1998
During a pre-trial hearing, Judge Don Leonard rules that Graham's
confession will be admissible at his trial.
July 6, 1998
selection in Graham's trial begins.
July 10, 1998
Leonard rules that Zamora's confession will be admissible at Graham's
July 15, 1998
Testimony in Graham's trial begins.
July 22, 1998
Outside the presence of the jury, and despite the promise of immunity
from the state, Zamora invokes her Fifth Amendment Right not to
incriminate herself and refuses to testify at Graham's trial. Graham's
defense had wanted Zamora to testify on his behalf, arguing that she
had forfeited her Fifth Amendment privilege because she testified at
her trial. The judge disagreed, ruling Zamora still had the
constitutional right and that the immunity offer was not adequate.
Graham's defense rests without calling any witnesses.
July 24, 1998
Graham is convicted of capital murder and automatically sentenced to
life with the possibility of parole after 40 years.