Matthew Shepard Case Brief
Facts: Twenty one year old, University of Wyoming college student, Matthew Shepard, died October 12, 1998 at 12:53 a.m. after spending five days in a comma due to massive injuries and head trauma in a robbery and hate crime assault (Matthew Shepard, 2000 [on-line]). Matthew Shepard met Aaron McKinney (22) and Russell Henderson (21) of Laramie in a local bar called Fireside Lounge. McKinney and Henderson had been drinking. The two led Shepard to believe they were gay and lured Shepard to their truck. McKinney pulled out a gun and said, Guess what- we're not gay and you're gonna get jacked. McKinney then told Shepard to give him his wallet. When Shepard refused, McKinney hit him with the gun. With Henderson behind the wheel, McKinney continued to strike Shepard. McKinney then told Henderson to get a rope out of the truck. McKinney allegedly tied Shepard's beaten body to a wooden split-rail post fence, robbed him of his wallet and patent leather shoes, continued to beat him and left him to die for over 18 hours. Chasity Vera Pasley (20) and Krista Lean Price (18), the suspect's girlfriends, hid the bloody shoes of Henderson and provided the suspects with alibis. Shepard's shoes, coat and credit card were found in McKinney's pick-up truck; his wallet was found in McKinney's home. A .357 Magnum was also found in McKinney's home (Matthew Shepard, 2000 [on-line]). On April 5, 1999, 22 year old, Aaron McKinney was found guilty of felony murder, second-degree murder, kidnapping and robbery. 21 year old, Russell Henderson pled guilty to kidnapping and felony murder and was sentenced to two consecutive life terms. Two women described as the suspects girlfriends, Chasity Vera Pasley (20) and Krista Lean Price (18) were charged as accessories after the fact of first-degree murder (The Data Lounge, Issues 2000, [on-line]). Issues: Aaron James McKinney seemed to believe that his allegation that Shepard had made a pass at him was...
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