The case of

Scott Bernard Amedure

Victim

Scott Bernard Amedure

Victim Race

Caucasian

Victim Date of Birth

1963-01-26

Victim Age

32

Date Reported

1995-03-09

Date of Death

1995-03-09

Case Status

Closed

Incident Location

Lake Orion, Oakland County, Michigan, USA

Body Location

Lake Orion, Oakland County, Michigan, USA

Date of Conviction

1996-12-04

Body Discovered Date

1995-03-09

Murderer

Jonathan Schmitz

Jonathan Schmitz /Who was Scott Amedure?

Scott Bernard Amedure was born in Pittsburgh, Pensylvania. His father Frank Amedure was a tractor trailer driver and his mom Patricia Amedure was a housewife.

In 1968, the family decided to move to Michigan and two years later, Frank and Patricia filed for a divorce. Scott, along with his two brothers and a sister, lived with their father Frank. At 17, Scott dropped out of high school and joined the army. This is where he got his GED.

While he was in the army, he trained in satellite communications. It was during his army years that Scott came out as gay. After serving for three years, he received an honorable discharge. Scott then worked for several years in technical communications, as well as a bartender because he enjoyed working nights.

On March 6, 1995, Scott was at an episode taping of The Jenny Jones show. This particular episode was going to be about secret crushes, and Scott had a crush on a man called Jonathan Schmitz. Due to the events that happened after the episode was filmed, it was never aired, but snippets were used in court and released by the media.

Scott said that he’d visited his female friend Donna at her apartment one night and Jonathan was working on her car. The first thing that Scott noticed was Jonathan’s “hot body” and since that moment, he’d been having sexual fantasies about Jonathan.

Jonathan was then brought onto the stage, and the pair shared an awkward embrace. The host then revealed that Jonathan’s secret admirer was Scott. While Jonathan appeared to take the news quite well, he calmly said that he was heterosexual, which seemed to be the end.

When Scott and Jonathan returned home, Jonathan found a suggestive note left for him on his driveway. While he wasn’t sure that it was from Scott, he had a feeling. Jonathan went to the bank and withdrew cash before purchasing a weapon.

Victim Was Found Dead/Start of The Crime

After Jonathan had shot Scott, he called 911 and confessed to the crime. Police arrived at Scott’s trailer and discovered Scott has been shot twice in the chest and he had unfortunately died. Jonathan was arrested for the murder of Scott Amedure.

The Crime Description

When the pair returned home, Jonathan went out and spent the entire night drinking. After getting home after his drinking session, he found a suggestive unsigned note on his driveway. He had a hunch that it was from Scott Amedure.

It’s been reported that after it was revealed that Scott was his secret crush, Jonathan was livid, and this probably played a part in his actions. He also felt humiliated, and he was worried about how his homophobic father would react when the episode was aired.

Jonathan headed to the bank and withdrew cash before purchasing a Mossberg 12-gauge shotgun. With the gun in his car, he drove to Scott’s trailer, where he knocked on the door. Scott answered, and Jonathan asked him if he’d left the note on his driveway. The specifics of this conversation aren’t known, but it’s thought that Scott admitted to writing the note, and this is when Jonathan shot Scott Amedure twice in the chest.

Suspect or Convicted Killer Details

Little is known about Jonathan Schmitz before he killed Scott Amedure, other than he was born on July 18, 1970 which made him 24 at the time of Scott’s murder.

In the trial, it came out that he had a very homophobic father and this made him “frightened” of homosexuals. He was worried that his father would have a negative reaction if he found out that Jonathan was hanging out with gay men so he tried to steer clear of them.

Investigation Details

As Jonathan Schmitz had confessed to the murder of Scott, the police didn’t really have much investigating to do. They arrested Jonathan and he told them what had happened, including the taping of The Jenny Jones Show.

However, even though he had confessed, Jonathan’s legal team claimed that he had committed the murder because of his manic depression, Grave’s disease and humiliation.

This is why the case went to trial.

Trial

At trial, Jonathan’s defense attorneys used the “gay panic defense” as a way of explaining his crime. This defense is used when a defendant claims to have acted in a fit of rage, usually brought on by unwanted sexual advances from a person of the same sex. Jonathan’s defense team further backed up this claim by saying that Jonathan was terrified of his father and the homophobia he had grown up around.

However, the prosecution said that Scott and Jonathan were actually having a secret affair. One of Scott’s friends testified that this was true.

One thing that both sides agreed on though was that The Jenny Jones Show was partially responsible for the death of Scott. Jenny Jones took the stand and admitted that they didn’t get permission from Jonathan to humilate him on television and that they used “ambush tactics” to get the maximum shock value from the audience. The producers of the show also said that they didn’t perform background checks on anyone who appeared on the show. If a background check had been conducted on Jonathan Schmitz, his mental health problems would have been highlighted and Scott would still be alive.

Verdict

On December 4, 1996, Jonathan Schmitz was sentenced to 25-50 years in prison. for second-degree murder. However, he appealed his case and his sentence was overturned. This led to another trial in which he was found guilty again and his sentence was reinstated on September 14, 1999.

Jonathan Schmitz was released on August 22, 2017.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where is Jonathan Schmitz now?

After his release in 2017, Jonathan Schmitz keeps out of the limelight and he lives a very quiet life.

Did Jenny Jones get sued?

Scott’s family did sue The Jenny Jones Show because they claimed that it was their negligent actions which led to Scott’s death. The Amedure family were awarded almost $30 million in damages in May 1999.

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