Man pleads guilty to killing California gay couple

BY Advocate.com Editors

March 04 2003 1:00 AM ET

A white supremacist who admitted fire-bombing three synagogues and a building housing an abortion clinic pleaded guilty Friday to killing a gay couple about two weeks after the arsons. Under a plea agreement, James Tyler Williams, 32, will be sentenced to 25 years to life in prison for the shooting deaths of Gary Matson and Winfield Mowder in their Happy Valley, Calif., home in 1999. He could have received the death penalty had the case gone to trial. Authorities said Williams committed the 1999 arsons and slayings with his brother, Benjamin Matthew Williams. The two were given 30-year prison sentences for the fires. Though no one was injured in the blazes, they caused more than $3 million in damage to the synagogues. Benjamin Matthew Williams, who had professed anti-Semitic, antigay, and white supremacist views after his arrest, killed himself in November in the Shasta County, Calif., jail.

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