Williams sentenced in gay couple's murder

By Advocate.com Editors

Originally published on Advocate.com March 29 2003 1:00 AM ET

A white supremacist who admitted killing a Happy Valley, Calif., gay couple nearly four years ago was sentenced Thursday to 29 years to life in prison. James Tyler Williams, 32, will serve the sentence after he completes a 21-year federal sentence for fire-bombing three synagogues and an abortion clinic. Williams was sentenced after pleading guilty to the shotgun slaying of civic activists Gary Matson, 50, and Winfield Mowder, 40. The two were killed while sleeping in their home in July 1999. Williams's older brother, Matthew, committed suicide in jail last November while awaiting trial for the same murders. The younger Williams pleaded guilty to the killings in February.

The Williams brothers were arrested six days after the killings. A month before the killings, the brothers had set fire to the synagogues and the abortion clinic, located in the Sacramento area. Both entered guilty pleas in that case and were sentenced to federal prison in November 2001.