Michigan man Jonathan Schmitz has been released from prison on parole after serving 22 years for the second-degree murder of gay man Scott Amedure.
Schmitz was invited to appear on the Jenny Jones Show on US TV in 1995. The episode was about secret crushes.
Unbeknown to then 24-year-old, the person who had a secret crush on him was revealed to be a gay acquaintance; Scott Amedure.
Three days after the taping of the show, Schmitz bought a shotgun, went to 32-year-old Amedure’s house and shot him twice in the chest, killing him.
Schmitz, then called police and told them what he had done. He said he’d done it because he’d felt embarrassed on national TV.
The taped episode was never aired on TV but clips can be watched online. The case and subsequent trial prompted huge media coverage.
‘We were traumatized, devastated. Our lives have never been the same,’ said Scott Amedure’s brother, Frank, to Detroit’s Local 4 News, about the death of his younger brother.
The Amedure family later sued the producers of the Jenny Jones Show, alleging they had been negligent. Although a court first came down in their favor and awarded them $25million damages, this was later overturned by an appeals court. The show was ultimately not held responsible.
Amedure’s brother it still angry at this decision: ‘It sickens me. These people were criminals. They’re just as guilty as Schmitz.
Schmitz, now 47, was released yesterday from a prison facility in Jacksonsville.
H/T: Local 4 News