Man Who Killed Admirer after Jenny Jones Show Taping Out on Parole
(Compiled, Aug. 24, 2017)
Lake Orion, MI – In 1995 two men from Lake Orion attended a taping of the Jenny Jones show. Three days later one of them was dead and the other in police custody, ultimately being sentenced to 20-50 years for murder.
Jonathan Schmitz, who was 24 at the time and is now 47, went on the tabloid talk show expecting to learn who had a secret crush on him. He was not told ahead of time that his admirer was a gay man, Scott Amedure,who was 32 at the time. On the show, Schmitz said that he was heterosexual.
According to various reports, after the taping Amedure left Schmitz a sexually suggestive note. Then Schmitz withdrew money from the bank, bought a shot gun, and went to Amedure’s home and shot him fatally in the chest.
The show never aired, but clips were widely shown by the media. The case was one of several where the “gay panic defense” was considered. The idea is that the thought of being associated with an LGBT person would be enough to justify confusion and rage involved in crimes, lessening mental capabilities and thus culpability. Schmitz was convicted of second degree murder instead of first because the jury questioned his mental state according to jurors after the trial.
The family of the victim sued the television show’s producers, and won a $25 million wrongful death judgment. However, that decision was reversed on appeal.
Schmitz was released on parole this week.
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