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Thu November 11, 2004
Shepard Investigator Disputes Report
Laramie, Wy – Later this month A-B-C's 20/20 program will air a story on the murder of Matthew Shepard where it will contend that it may not have been a hate crime. But the lead investigator in the case strongly disagrees. Laramie's underground world of methamphetamine could have contributed to the crime and that it was really a mugging gone wrong. But the lead investigator in the case, Lieutenant Rob Debree of the Albany County Sheriffs department, says both McKinney and Henderson told him that Shepard gave up his wallet right away. Debree says when you consider that Shepard was then hit several times with a large gun, driven a remote area, tied up and beaten several more times and left for dead Debree has a tough time saying it was not a hate crime. "It just doesn't fit a typical robbery gone wrong...the viciousness of the attack was just way too extreme". He adds that "we have evidence that Matthew tried to runaway...they just did not have to continue the attack as viciously as they did."
Debree says the pair also told him they targeted Shepard because he was gay. He adds that investigators proved that drugs did not play a role in the crime.