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Supreme Court rejects Jenny Jones gay murder case

Supreme Court rejects Jenny Jones gay murder case

The U.S. Supreme Court rejected an appeal Monday from the family of a talk-show guest murdered days after he admitted a secret crush on another man during a taping of the Jenny Jones show. The family of Scott Amedure won a $29.3 million award against Warner Bros. and the talk show, but later the decision was thrown out. A Michigan appeals court ruled against the family last year. In an appeal to the Supreme Court, the family claimed that Michigan judges were biased and should have disqualified themselves from the case. The lawsuit stemmed from Amedure's death in 1995, three days after he appeared on the show with Jonathan Schmitz. Amedure revealed his attraction to Schmitz during the taping of the show in Chicago. The show never aired. Schmitz is serving a 25- to 50-year prison sentence for second-degree murder. "While we continue to extend our deepest sympathies to the Amedure family for their tragic loss, we are gratified that the U.S. Supreme Court agreed with both of Michigan's higher courts that the Jenny Jones show was in no way to blame for Scott Amedure's murder," said Warner Bros. spokesman Scott Rowe. Amedure's family sued the talk show in 1995, contending that Schmitz was ambushed and tricked into believing his secret admirer would be a woman. During the six-week civil trial and again while deliberating, jurors watched the taped episode showing Amedure talking about a sexual fantasy involving Schmitz, and Schmitz's reaction when the fantasy is revealed to him--he buries his face in his hands. Three days after Amedure, Schmitz, and a mutual friend appeared at the taping for the show in Chicago, Schmitz bought a shotgun, drove to Amedure's trailer home in Oakland County, Mich.'s Orion Township and shot him twice in the chest. Schmitz was found guilty of murder in 1996, but his conviction was thrown out on appeal. He was retried and convicted in 1999. Attorney Geoffrey Fieger, who represented the Amedure family, argued that a mentally ill Schmitz was tricked into appearing on the show, believing he would meet a woman. The defense claimed Schmitz knew his guest could be a man, suspected it was Amedure, and was not upset when his admirer was revealed.

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