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Gay Student Dies From Beating

October 12, 1998

FORT COLLINS, Colo. (AP) _ A gay University of Wyoming student who was pistol-whipped and lashed to a fence post in an attack denounced nationwide as a hate crime died from his injuries, hospital officials said early today.

Matthew Shepard, 21, died while on full life support, Poudre Valley Hospital spokesman Gary Kimsey said. Shepard had been in a coma since bicyclists found him tethered to the post in near-freezing temperatures outside Laramie, Wyo., on Wednesday.

Police have said robbery was the primary motive for the attack. But gay rights groups and others assailed the beating and called on Wyoming legislators to adopt laws to deter crimes against homosexuals.

Before Shepard’s death, Russell Arthur Henderson, 21, and Aaron James McKinney, 22, had been charged with attempted murder, kidnapping and aggravated robbery. Their girlfriends _ Chastity Vera Pasley, 20, and Kristen Leann Price, 18 _ were charged with being accessories after the fact.

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