Jones' Lawyers Defend Talk Show
Apr. 29, 1999
PONTIAC, Mich. (AP) _ A gay guest on ``The Jenny Jones Show'' who was killed three days after revealing a crush on another man told his mother the two had sex after taping the show, a jury was told.
Scott Amedure's mother didn't necessarily believe him, but she repeated the claim to a television reporter after Amedure was shot and killed by Jonathan Schmitz, according to testimony on Wednesday.
Amedure's family is suing the show and its distributor, Warner Bros., for $50 million, contending a mentally ill Schmitz was lured onto the show believing he would meet a woman, and was humiliated to the point of murder when his ``secret admirer'' turned out to be Amedure.
Three days after the taping, Schmitz _ who has said he is heterosexual _ killed Amedure with a shotgun. Schmitz was found guilty of murder in 1996, but his conviction was thrown out on appeal. His retrial is set for Aug. 19.
Lawyers for the show argue Schmitz was told his secret admirer could be a man or woman, and that the show played no role in Amedure's death.
Defense attorney James Feeney showed jurors part of a videotaped deposition of Patricia Graves, Amedure's mother. Shortly after the shooting, Ms. Graves told a reporter that Amedure had said he and Schmitz had ``an affair'' after the show.
But in her deposition, Ms. Graves said she had not taken Amedure's statement seriously, and did not question him about it: ``You had to know Scott to know when he was being up front with you or kidding around.''
The defense also played the deposition of Ronnie Perez, another guest on the same episode. Perez said he and Amedure spoke by phone after the taping.
``All he said was `I'll tell you something. Can you keep a secret?''' Perez said. ``I said yeah. He said `I slept with Jon.'''
Feeney said the evidence was important because it showed there could be other reasons Schmitz shot Amedure besides their appearance on the program.