Celebrity Matthew Shepard Killer Suspects Charged By People Staff Published on June 8, 1999 12:00 AM Share Tweet Pin Email The two men charged in the murder of college student Matthew Shepard both pleaded innocent in Laramie WY on Wednesday and expect to find out before the end of the year whether they could face the death penalty. Russell Arthur Henderson and Aaron James McKinney entered their pleas during separate hearings. Judge Jeffrey A. Donnell said he will set trial dates at a Dec. 10 hearing. Henderson and McKinney, both 21, are charged with first-degree murder, aggravated robbery and kidnapping with intent to inflict bodily injury or to terrorize the victim. Shepard, beaten and robbed Oct. 7, was targeted because he was gay, according to testimony at an earlier court hearing. The 21-year-old University of Wyoming freshman died Oct. 12.