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Today is Wednesday, November 28, 2007


Martinez's Killer Gets 40 Years

[CORTEZ, CO] - In Colorado on Monday, Montezuma County Judge Sharon Hansen sentenced Shaun Murphy to 40 years in prison for the murder of Fred "F.C." Martinez, a 16-year-old who was left to die by the side of a road in Cortez last June.

Shaun Murphy, 19.
The sentencing range for the 19-year-old killer, who pleaded guilty to second-degree murder, was 16 to 48 years. Denise de Percin, executive director of the Colorado Anti-Violence Program, expressed grim satisfaction with the sentence, which will keep Murphy behind bars for at least 25 years if not longer.

Speaking to the judge, Martinez's mother Pauline Mitchell called her son a "free spirit," who was "always ready to bring a laugh or a smile to my heart when I needed it the most." Starting at age 13, she said, F.C. began using makeup and curling his hair.

"We really didn't say anything to him. F.C. was beautiful and liked to make himself more beautiful. We treated him like he was precious to us. The youngest. If that is how you want to be, if you were happy with it, OK."

Murphy, who said he was drunk at the time, assaulted Martinez and crushed his skull with a rock, leaving him in a remote canyon outside of town, called The Pits, the Denver Post reports. Although he claimed not to have realized that the blows were fatal, Murphy bragged about the confrontation, and did not summon help.

When Martinez's body was discovered five days after the attack, the Post reports that Murphy was heard to say: "Killed that fool, huh?"

"Mr. Murphy," said Mitchell at the sentencing hearing, "you took my son away from me in the most vicious way I can imagine. You smashed his head with a rock ? and you felt it break his skull. ?You deliberately left him there to die -- or already dead. And my son lay there for a week and all you said about it was that you had 'bug-smashed a fag.' ? You stole my son's life. You broke my family. And you broke my heart."

Murphy's mother, a lesbian, claimed her son had nothing against gays. After the sentence was announced, the Post said she left the courtroom in tears, while Murphy's grandmother had already been taken away in an ambulance after collapsing during the hearing.

"I made a terrible mistake," the father of two told Judge Hansen, pleading for something on the light side of the sentencing range. According to the Post, however, Hansen was most disturbed by the fact that Murphy did not even make an anonymous call to get medical aid, which, she said, "might have made a difference whether or not Fred Martinez lived or died."

Related Stories:

June 5, 2002 - Colorado Anti-Violence Program Commends Judge in Stringent Sentencing of Shawn Murphy

Feb 8, 2002 - Murphy Pleads Guilty to Murder of F.C. Martinez

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