Five years ago, Mathew Shepard was beaten to death because of his sexual orientation.
Now his mother commits her time to speaking out against discrimination on all levels.
Last night, Judy Shepard brought her message of acceptance to Virginia Tech.
She was invited to speak by the group known as "The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Alliance" which also invited members of Tech's Board of Visitors to attend.
The group extended the invitation after the Board of Visitors recently revised the university's non-discrimination clause, removing protection for gays, lesbians and bisexuals.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=A lot of them ]
((JUSTIN WIENCKOWSKI/STUDENT: A LOT OF THEM ARE NOT AS DIRECTLY INVOLVED IN THIS COMMUNITY AS THEY SHOULD BE SOME OF THEM ARE BUSINESS OWNERS, WHO DO NOT LIVE LOCALLY SO BY INVITING THEM TO SEE A PORTION OF THIS COMMUNITY THAT THEY DON'T INTERACT WITH MUCH, BUT THAT FORMS... AND LEARN A LITTLE BIT ABOUT THE ISSUES THAT SEXUAL MINORITIES HAVE TO FACE.))
[OUT Q=have to face.]
A number of people attended the speech-- so it's unclear whether any members of the board of visitors were in the crowd.
A university spokesman says the board was following the advice of Attorney General Jerry Kilgore when it changed the policy.
The former head of the state's Republican party, Ed Matricardi, pleaded guilty yesterday to illegal wiretapping.
Matricardi entered into a plea agreement.
He admitted to one felony count of wire interception for listening in to a Democratic Party conference call last year.
Federal prosecutors say Matricardi will probably NOT go to prison.
Instead, they are recommending that the 34-year-old serve three years of probation and pay a ten-thousand dollar fine.
Prosecutors say the investigation is continuing.
[IN Q=WE WILL KEEP AN]
((PAUL MCNULTY/U.S. ATTORNEY: WE WILL KEEP AN OPEN MIND AND CONTINUE TO FOLLOW WHATEVER LEADS SHOULD COME OUR WAY AND MAKE SURE WE DO OUR JOBS AND ENFORCE THE LAW.))
[SUPER=01-Paul McNulty/U. S. Attorney]
[OUT Q=ENFORCE THE LAW.]
Matricardi will be sentenced on July 8th.
Governor Warner says today's guilty plea sends a message that "dirty politics will not be tolerated in Virginia."
State legislators return to Richmond today in what's shaping up as a battle of wills with Governor Warner.
Both chambers convene at noon for a single-day session.
They'll consider four vetoes and 87 amendments that the governor made to bills passed by the General Assembly this year.
One issue they'll address today is Warner's veto of a Republican backed bill to repeal Virginia's estate tax.
The bill passed with enough votes to override a veto, but a few lawmakers have said they plan to change their vote.
We'll have more on today's session tonight on News 7 at 6.
23- year- old Michael Lalush (lollush), a Marine from Botetourt County, was killed Sunday when his helicopter crashed in the desert.
But yesterday his family and friends found comfort in the knowledge he was doing what he loved.
Few of the current students at Lord Botetourt High School knew Lalush, but his death has affected the school in a personal way.
Lalush graduated from Lord Botetourt in 1997, having decided as a junior to join the Marine Corps.
Shop teacher William Kohler remembers him as as a quick learner who was good with his hands.
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[IN Q=I just feel very sorry for the family]
((WILLIAM KOHLER/LORD BOTETOURT H.S. TEACHER: I JUST FEEL VERY SORRY FOR THE FAMILY AND WISH THE BEST FOR THEM, AND GLAD I HAD A CHANCE TO KNOW MIKE AS A STUDENT. VERY VERY NICE YOUNG MAN. ))
((ALAN BRENNER/LORD BOTETOURT H.S. PRINCIPAL: HE WANTED TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE, AND HE CERTAINLY DID.))
[SUPER=201-William Kohler/Lord Botetourt High School Teacher; :00]
[SUPER=201-Alan Brenner/Lord Botetourt High School Principal; :17]
[OUT Q=and he certainly did.]
Lalush's body will be brought back to the U-S by two of his closest friends -- roommates at Camp Pendleton, California who were with him in Iraq.
His parents say he'll be buried according to his wishes at Arlington National Cemetery sometime in the next week or two.
Senator George Allen offered his condolences to the Lalush family and to the family of Donald May, a Richmond area Marine also killed in Iraq.
Allen says they died in a noble cause, to protect America and Liberate Iraq.
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[IN Q=I surely hope.]
((SEN. GEORGE ALLEN/(R) VIRGINIA; I SURELY HOPE THAT THE PEOPLE OF IRAQ WILL ONE DAY GET DOWN ON THEIR KNEES AND THANK GOD THAT THERE ARE PEOPLE LIKE THESE TWO SERGEANTS, SERGREANT MAYS AND SERGEANT LALUSH, WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES, THEIR FUTURES SO THEY COULD BE FREE.))
[SUPER=201-Sen. George Allen/(R) Virginia]
[OUT Q=could be free.]
[SS=War in Iraq]
Allen says all Americans are greatful for the sacrifices of our troops.
19-year-old Quinten Lamont Mosley (MOZE-lee) pleaded guilty yesterday to voluntary manslaughter in the beating death of 28-year-old Ronald L. Brooks Junior last year.
The Lynchburg teenager says he'll testify against four other men charged with a fatal beating if it helps HIM avoid a murder charge as well.
Brooks was attacked in the 100 block of Jackson Street where authorities say he had gone to buy drugs.
Mosley admits to kicking Brooks once in the shoulder.. but says the others were much more involved than he was.
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[IN Q=I think it]
((WANDA YODER/DEFENSE ATTORNEY: I THINK IT WILL HELP THEIR CASE YES, BECAUSE I THINK SOME OF THE OTHER DEFENDANTS HAVE A DIFFERENT SET OF FACTS THAT THEY WOULD LIKE PEOPLE TO BELIEVE OCCURRED ON THIS DAY.))
[SUPER=01-Wanda Yoder/Defense Attorney]
[OUT Q=on this day.]
Mosley won't be sentenced until after he testifies against the other defendants.
Their trials get underway later this spring.
Brandon Wayne Hedrick has spent six years on death row for a 1997 rape and shotgun killing in Appomattox County.
But now the man who decided that he wanted to die last year, is reconsidering.
[SUPER=03-Appomattox Co./File Tape]
Hedrick is scheduled to be executed tomorrow night.
But he tells The Associated Press that he doesn't think he should be on death row.
Hedrick says he doesn't want his execution to put any more of a burden on his family and the family of his victim, 23-year-old Lisa
Hedrick has not exhausted all his appeal options and he's trying to decide whether to make a final push for an appeal.
Rockbridge county may appear to some like a set from the movie Jurassic Park.
Monday, six dinosaur-replicas showed up near a handful of businesses in Glasgow.
The life-sized monsters are the work of local creator Mark Cline.
His wife says they hope the unusual attractions will draw tourists who'd normally stop at Natural Bridge.
Glasgow's Town Manager says he didn't know anything about the dinosaurs until they appeared yesterday but that it's okay with him if they remain.
The dinosaurs will stay put for at least two weeks, possibly longer if they succeed in drawing visitors to the area.