May 20, 1999 12:00 AM

The mother of a man charged with murdering gay University of Wyoming student Matthew Shepard has been found dead on a road outside Laramie WY, and police said Tuesday they were questioning several people about her death. The Albany County sheriff’s office said the body of Cindy Thompson Dixon, 40, was found Sunday, and a preliminary autopsy showed that she froze to death. She was last seen appearing to stagger out of a bar. Dixon’s husband Charles Dixon appeared briefly in Albany County court Tuesday on a charge of assault and battery against his wife, but his hearing was postponed until a later date. The Albany County district attorney’s office said the alleged attack was not connected with her death. Her son, Russell Henderson, 21, was charged with first-degree murder, kidnapping and robbery in the slaying of Shepard, 21, in October in a case that focused national attention on violence against homosexuals.

  • Henderson and Aaron McKinney, who is also accused in the Shepard slaying, are being held in a Laramie jail awaiting trial. Prosecutors announced last week they would seek the death penalty against the two.

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