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Gay chat room killer sentenced in North Carolina

Gay chat room killer sentenced in North Carolina

A man was given a life sentence after brutally murdering a gay man.

A Durham, N.C., jury on Thursday handed down a life sentence to a man who shot another man in the head after meeting him in a gay chat room. Two years ago, 23-year-old Sean Ethan Owen died at the hands of three individuals: Matthew Taylor, Derrick Maiden, and Shelton Epps. Epps--the gunman--was sentenced to life without parole, TheHerald-Sun reports. In what the judge called a "sickeningly opportunistic and atrocious crime," the trio used a gay chat room to lure Owen with the promise of sex. But prosecutors said their intent all along was to steal Owen's car. When Owen tried to flee, he was shot twice in the head, then left to drown in a nearby river. The judge remarked that it was tragic for 21-year-old Epps to spend the rest of his life in prison but scolded him, saying that he was alive, while the victim--Sean Owen--was not. For his part in this crime, 18-year-old Matthew Taylor was sentenced earlier to life in prison without the possibility of parole. The third man--Derrick Maiden--struck a plea bargain to testify against both Taylor and Epps and was sentenced to nine to 12 years in prison. (Sirius OutQ News)

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