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Special Feature
The Victim
Matthew Shepard, gay University of Wyoming student was found badly beaten, tied to a rural-area fence post and left for dead on the morning of Oct. 7, 1998. Police charge that Russell Henderson and Aaron McKinney pretended to be homosexuals, lured Shepard out of the Fireside Lounge and took him to a remote area east of Laramie, Wyo. He died five days later in a Fort Collins hospital.

The 5-foot-2, 105-pound Shepard was educated in Europe and had big plans for the future.

The Suspects
Russell Henderson, accused of killing Shepard, pleaded guilty to the murder of Shepard. Henderson, at 5 feet 7, 138 pounds, was a high school dropout who held unskilled jobs. He had minor scuffles with the law but no history of violence.

Aaron McKinney, was convicted of Shepard's death on Nov. 3, 1999, after his defense argued that McKinney suffered from a 'gay panic' that caused him to react violently to an alleged sexual proposition by Shepard. McKinney could receive the death penalty.

November 10, 1999
Final defendant in beating case pleads to reduced charge

LARAMIE, Wyo. — The last of four defendants arrested in the beating death of gay college student Matthew Shepard has pleaded guilty to a reduced charge for helping dispose of the bloody clothes of one of the killers.

November 9, 1999
Shepard's parents ask for hate crime law

WASHINGTON — The parents of murdered college student Matthew Shepard traveled to Capitol Hill on Monday to plead with Congress to broaden federal hate crime laws to cover violence against homosexuals.

November 5, 1999
McKinney spared death penalty

LARAMIE, Wyo. — Aaron McKinney, who beat gay college student Matthew Shepard and left him to die on the prairie, avoided the death penalty Thursday by agreeing to serve life in prison without parole and promising never to appeal his conviction.

November 4, 1999
McKinney convicted in Shepard murder

LARAMIE, Wyo. — A 22-year-old man was convicted of murder Wednesday in the beating of gay college student Matthew Shepard and could get the death penalty after a trial in which the defense portrayed Shepard as a sexual aggressor.

November 3, 1999
Jurors deliberating gay slaying case

LARAMIE, Wyo. — The jury in the beating death of gay college student Matthew Shepard began deliberating Tuesday after a defense attorney argued that the man on trial flew into a rage when a sexually aggressive Shepard grabbed his crotch.

November 2, 1999
Defense rests after 'gay panic' argument barred

LARAMIE, Wyo. — The judge in the Matthew Shepard murder case barred the man on trial Monday from using a "gay panic" defense.

November 1, 1999
Defense in Shepard case to argue diminished capacity

LARAMIE, Wyo. — The theory that Aaron McKinney pummeled Matthew Shepard because he made a sexual advance goes on trial this week as lawyers try to prove McKinney suffered from a diminished capacity at the time of the beating.

October 30, 1999
State rests in McKinney trial

LARAMIE, Wyo. — Prosecutors rested their case against Aaron McKinney today after presenting jurors a timeline of the night Matthew Shepard was brutally beaten and playing a tape of McKinney's jailhouse confession.

October 29, 1999
Woman to be sentenced for getting rid of evidence in Shepard murder

LARAMIE, Wyo. — A woman whose boyfriend is serving two life sentences for the murder of gay University of Wyoming student Matthew Shepard will be sentenced next month for covering up the crime.

Girlfriend: McKinney told of killing

LARAMIE, Wyo. — Aaron McKinney and Russell Henderson plotted to pose as homosexuals and rob Matthew Shepard, and McKinney later acknowledged they had killed him, McKinney's then-girlfriend testified Thursday.

October 28, 1999
Judge rips defense for 'gay panic' argument

LARAMIE, Wyo. — The judge in the Matthew Shepard murder case threatened on Wednesday to bar the man on trial from employing a "gay panic" defense.

October 27, 1999
Teenager identifies Aaron McKinney as friend's assailant

LARAMIE, Wyo. — A former Laramie teenager testified Tuesday that Aaron McKinney pulled out a gun and clubbed his friend in an assault that occurred hours after Matthew Shepard was beaten.

October 26, 1999
Attorney: Drunken rage to blame for fatal attack on gay student

LARAMIE, Wyo. — Gay college student Matthew Shepard was pummeled to death by Aaron McKinney in a drunken, drug-induced rage after Shepard made a pass at him, McKinney's attorney said Monday as his trial began.

October 25, 1999
Opening statements set to begin in Shepard case

LARAMIE, Wyo. — No one disputes that Aaron McKinney helped pistol-whip Matthew Shepard and then left him lashed to a fence on a freezing Wyoming prairie.

October 24, 1999
Wyoming rancher recalls building fence

LARAMIE, Wyo. — Paul Etchepare sits in his tan pickup on a warm fall afternoon and sighs as he looks at the roughhewn fence that sits on his ranch.

October 14, 1999
D.A. blasts Shepard defense strategy

LARAMIE, Wyo. — The prosecutor in the murder trial of a man accused of beating gay college student Matthew Shepard to death challenged the defense strategy of pinning blame in part on the defendant's drug and alcohol use.

October 13, 1999
Duo completes trek to fence where Shepard was left to die

LARAMIE, Wyo. — After a four-day, 72-mile hike, Jerry Switzer and Jeremy Atencio finally reached their ultimate destination: the fence. Their eyes welled.

Film about hate crimes debuts

FORT COLLINS — The families of three murder victims hope a documentary about hate crimes debuting Tuesday at Colorado State University will stop violence by educating the nation.

October 12, 1999
Gay beating trial opens

LARAMIE, Wyo. — Almost a year to the day after gay college student Matthew Shepard died with a cracked skull, jury selection began Monday in the murder trial of the man accused of instigating the attack.

October 11, 1999
Laramie braces for Shepard trial

LARAMIE, Wyo. — The rail fence remains, a lonely span of timber at the end of a rutted limestone trail, separating only one side of prairie from the other.

April 15, 1999
Lawyer seeks information about Shepard's lifestyle

LARAMIE, Wyo. — Evidence of Matthew Shepard's lifestyle, including whether he routinely picked up other men, is being sought by attorneys for Aaron McKinney, who is accused of beating the gay college student to death last year.

April 8, 1999
Co-defendant cries foul over Shepard guilty plea

LARAMIE, Wyo. — Aaron McKinney's defense team attacked the credibility of co-defendant Russell Henderson, who they say lied to avoid the death penalty in the beating death of gay college student Matthew Shepard.

April 6, 1999
Guilty plea in killing of gay man

LARAMIE, Wyo. — One of two men charged in the killing of gay college student Matthew Shepard pleaded guilty Monday to murder, admitting he tied the bleeding young man to a wooden fence and left him for dead on the prairie.

April 4, 1999
Opening of Shepard slaying trial delayed

LARAMIE, Wyo. — Jury selection and opening statements in the first trial in the Matthew Shepard beating death, which had been set for early next week, were delayed Friday after the judge ordered a last-minute hearing.

March 30, 1999
Potential jurors warned about trial

LARAMIE, Wyo. — Potential jurors in the trial of a man charged with beating to death Matthew Shepard were warned Monday to expect intense media scrutiny, graphic evidence and the possibility of three weeks away from their families.

March 29, 1999
Laramie gearing up for media's return for Henderson trial

LARAMIE, Wyo. — The eye of the storm has passed. The capital murder trial of Russell Henderson has begun, and once again the media microscope has focused on this high plains town of 27,000.

March 27, 1999
Shepard, suspect unalike

LARAMIE, Wyo. — Like the gay college student he is accused of killing, Russell Henderson is a slightly built young man who was raised on the dusty high plains of Wyoming.

March 26, 1999
Potential Shepard murder trial juror glad to be excused

LARAMIE, Wyo. — A potential juror in the Matthew Shepard murder trial said he was relieved after being excused from the high-profile case Thursday.

March 25, 1999
Shepard's lifestyle an issue as beating death trial begins

LARAMIE, Wyo. — One of two men arrested in the beating death of gay college student Matthew Shepard went on trial Wednesday with the defense attorney asking prospective jurors not to punish his client to redeem this small town's image in the eyes of the nation.

March 21, 1999
First trial to begin in killing of gay student

LARAMIE, Wyo. — Matthew Shepard's feet were all that could be seen of him amid the sagebrush.

December 24, 1998
Woman pleads guilty to role in murder of gay student

LARAMIE, Wyo.— The prosecution's case in the murder of gay University of Wyoming student Matthew Shepard, which has become a cause celebre for human rights activists, notched its first conviction Wednesday.

December 23, 1998
New plea expected in Shepard murder

LARAMIE, Wyo.— One of two women accused of covering up evidence in the murder of gay college student Matthew Shepard plans to change her plea, authorities said Tuesday.

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