2 charged in gay student murder


Laramie - Two high-school dropouts are facing first-degree murder charges after the death of a gay Wyoming student, Matthew Shepard, in an attack that has reinvigorated national debate on anti-hate crime laws.

A prosecutor said the charges against Mr Aaron McKinney (22) and Mr Russell Henderson (21) had been upgraded to first-degree murder in a court appearance late on Monday after Mr Shepard died from his injuries. The 21-year-old student was assaulted, pistol-whipped and then left lashed to a fence in near-freezing temperatures for some 18 hours.