Tuesday, April 6, 1999 Published at 00:53 GMT 01:53 UK
Life for killer of gay student
The murder of Matthew Shepard has become a focus for gay protests
One of the two men charged with killing gay student Matthew Shepard has been sentenced to two life terms after admitting his role in the attack.
"I hope you never experience a day or night without experiencing the terror, humiliation, hopelessness and helplessness my son felt that night," Matthew Shepard's mother Judy told her son's killer.
BBC correspondents say the prosecutors appeared determined not to let Mr Shepard's homosexuality become an issue in the trial.
Despite these attempts, there were protests outside the courthouse in Laramie, Wyoming, from pro- and anti-gay activists who say the attack shows the need for new legislation.
Gay activists also turned the desolate hill where the attack occurred into a pilgrimage site.
Prosecutors say Russell Henderson and Aaron McKinney lured Shepard from a Laramie bar, pistol-whipped him and tied him to a fence on a country road in sub-freezing temperatures.
Mr Shepard died five days later in hospital.
Judge Jeffrey Donnell, passing a sentence which appeared to rule out any possibility of parole, said he felt Henderson did not realise the horrific nature of his crime.
"Quite frankly the court does not believe you really feel a true remorse for your role in this matter," Judge Donnell said.
The brutal attack has thrown the spotlight on the small town of Laramie as a focus for attention on hate crimes and anti-gay violence in the US.