Man Ordered Tried on Murder Charge in Talk Show Slaying
BRIAN S. AKRE
Apr. 05, 1995
ROCHESTER HILLS, Mich. (AP) _ A judge on Tuesday ordered a man to stand trial on a murder charge in the shooting of a man who revealed his attraction for the suspect on ``The Jenny Jones Show.''
Scott Amedure was killed March 9, three days after he appeared on the Chicago-based show with Jonathan Schmitz and declared he was Schmitz's secret admirer.
Schmitz, 24, has admitted killing the 32-year-old Amedure. He told police he felt publicly humiliated by the episode, which hasn't been broadcast.
District Judge Robert Shipper ruled that there is enough evidence for Schmitz to be tried in Oakland County Circuit Court. He is charged with first-degree murder and possession of a firearm in the commission of a felony. He faces life in prison without parole if convicted.
Shipper sidestepped the defense's claim that the suspect's confession was inadmissible because authorities waited too long to advise him of his rights against self-incrimination and to have an attorney.
Other evidence, including an eyewitness, was sufficient to justify a trial, the judge said.
``The confession has nothing to do with this case,'' he said.
Schmitz's attorneys have said he agreed to appear for a taping of ``The Jenny Jones Show'' because he believed he was going to meet a female secret admirer. They have said he was shocked and humiliated to find out his admirer was Amedure, a man he had met casually not long before.
Prosecutors say Schmitz shot Amedure a few days after the taping after Amedure left a sexually suggestive note at his door.
About 50 people gathered outside the Oakland County court in Pontiac on Tuesday to protest what they say has been anti-gay bias by authorities handling the case.
``We respond with outrage that anyone would try to justify Scott's murder on any ground, but particularly on the grounds that he somehow asked for his own murder by simply expressing an attraction for another man,'' said Jan Stevenson, executive director of Affirmations Lesbian-Gay Community Center in Ferndale.
At Tuesday's hearing, Amedure's roommate, Gary T. Brady, testified that Schmitz knocked on the door of the house they shared in Lake Orion on March 9 and asked to see Amedure.
Brady said he directed Schmitz to the bathroom, where Amedure was shaving. A short time later, Schmitz went back to his station wagon, saying he was going to turn off the engine. He again knocked on the front door and Amedure answered.
``Scott said: `Gary, he's got a gun, he's going to shoot me,''' Brady recalled in a halting voice.
Brady said that after the first shot struck Amedure in the chest, he ran down the hall to escape, then returned.
``Scott was standing, in the process of falling to the floor when the second blast occurred. I went to Scott to try to get a pulse or see if he was still alive.''
Schmitz sat stoically between his two attorneys during the testimony, his hands clasped on his lap.
Brady testified Schmitz was ``perfectly well-composed'' before the shooting.