Killer of female impersonator found guilty

Columbus, Ohio, resident Michael Jennings, 34, was found guilty on Thursday of killing a female impersonator with a samurai sword. The victim, Gary McMurtry (pictured), used the stage name Brazon.

BY admin

August 26 2005 11:00 PM ET

Columbus, Ohio,
resident Michael Jennings, 34, was found guilty on
Thursday of killing a female impersonator with a samurai
sword. The victim, Gary McMurtry, used the stage name Brazon.
“When I heard, I sat on the floor over
there and cried,” said Matt Richison, who
performs as Missy Marlo. "[Jennings] is a cold-blooded
killer, and he tried to get out of it.”
Jennings—who pled not guilty by reason of
insanity—was convicted in the May 17, 2002,
early-morning slaying of McMurtry. He also attacked the
performer's roommate.
During the trial Jennings took the stand and
told the courtroom that he believed McMurtry and his
roommate had murdered two people that he had known and
he believed that he was next. “I still believe it was
my right to protect myself," said Jennings. "How many
people does someone have to kill before someone else
takes action?”
Psychologists testified that Jennings believed
he was Michael the Archangel, a biblical reference to
the angel who defeated Satan’s minions and cast
them into hell. Also, Jennings compared himself to Joan
of Arc, who claimed to have received messages from
Michael the Archangel to help lead the French to
victory against the English in 1429.
Jennings told one doctor he was on a
mission to spread world peace by joining the Columbus
Crew professional soccer team. Once on the team the
Crew would win the World Cup, and he would be interviewed on
television, where he could finally deliver his message of
world peace. The Columbus Crew eventually filed a
restraining order against Jennings.
In closing arguments, defense attorney J. Tullis
Rogers gave an impassioned speech on behalf of his
client, implying that the decision to
declare Jennings competent to stand trial may
have been incorrect. He said his client believed he was
morally correct in his decision to kill and was not an
evil person. “There are people who think
it’s not moral and it’s illegal to be
gay,” said Tullis. “I am simply asking
the court to keep an open mind.”
During his testimony, Jennings denied that
the attack had anything to do
with McMurtry's sexual orientation. (Doug Maag,
Advocate.com)

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