William Smithson faced an unsympathetic crowd in a packed Pennsylvania courtroom yesterday where prosecutors are accusing him of strangling to death a company intern in his Delaware County home, reports The Philadelphia Daily News.

Smithson, 43, drugged Jason Shepard with GHB – the date rape drug – attempted to violate him and ultimately strangled him to death when he resisted, prosecutors allege.

William Smithson is a gay man who frequently hosted gay sex parties which featured pornography, crystal meth and GHB.

Jason Shepard, 23, a sports marketing major at South Dakota college, was interning at Smithson's office in Edgmont, a suburb of Philadelphia, in 2006 when he was found dead in Smithson's basement by police.

“This person killed Jason Shepard over what?,” Thomas Lawrie, an assistant Delaware County prosecutor asked the jury. “Over his desire to have sex with this young man.”

Defense attorney G. Guy Smith said Smithson was not guilty of murder and claimed a third man was in the house that night, and is responsible for the murder. Fen Bruce Covington, 58, originally lied to police about his whereabouts that night and also faces charges for allegedly drugging and raping a man in his own apartment in February.

Lindsay Patterson, an ex-girlfriend who dated Shepard for two years, testified that he was a conservative Midwesterner who “never” did drugs and was “uncomfortable” around gay men.

Daniel Hall testified he received a frantic call on Sept. 19, 2006 from ex-boyfriend Smithson and drove from Virginia to pacify him. The dead body of Jason Shepard lay in the bedroom.

The next day, Smithson filed a missing-persons report on Shepard with police.

But it was ex-boyfriend Hall who two days later would call police and tell them what he knew. Shepard's lifeless body was found in the early stages of decomposition in Smithson's basement, wrapped in sheets and bound by belts.

The Pennsylvania trial continues.