Colorado

The death of Matthew Shepard

October 12, 1998
Fort Collins, Colorado
Matthew Shepard succumbs to the beating and torture he endured 6 days before

Shepard’s murderers, allegedly intent on robbing him, approached him, pretending to be gay to earn his trust, and offered him a ride home, but instead drove to an abandoned field, tied him to a fence, pistol whipped him which fractured his skull, tortured him, and left him to die. A passerby noticed his body some 18 hours later, assuming at first he was a scarecrow. Police on the scene reported his face was completely covered with blood except for streaks where his tears had washed the blood away.

Shepard lingered in a coma for 6 days before he died from severe brain trauma.

During trial, the defense attempting a “gay panic” offense, alleging the killers had only intended to rob Shepard who then hit on one or both of the men who beat and murdered him in response. The prosecution sought a hate crime punishment, alleging the two men had specifically sought Shepard due to his sexual orientation. The murderers were convicted of felony murder and given two consecutive life sentences without the possibility of parole.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s