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Gay Indiana Professor Murdered


Don Belton, an assistant professor of English at Indiana University and one of the leading African-American voices in academia, was found stabbed to death in his Bloomington, Ind., home Monday, the Associated Press reports. Twenty-five-year-old Michael J. Griffin has admitted to the stabbing, police say.

Griffin reportedly said he stabbed the 53-year-old Belton because the professor sexually assaulted him on Christmas Day and then showed no remorse, according to court papers. Griffin said he went to Belton's home on Sunday to confront him about the assault and that an argument and scuffle ensued. According to the probable cause affidavit, Griffin then stabbed Belton with a 10-inch military style knife after Belton failed to "show or express any type of feeling that what had taken place was a mistake." Griffin is being held in county jail and is expected in court for an initial hearing on Wednesday.

Belton taught at IU since fall 2008. He previously taught at Shippensburg University, the University of Michigan, Macalester College, and the University of Pennsylvania. He had contributed to Newsweek and The Advocate, was the author of the novel Almost Midnight, and was the editor the anthology Speak My Name, which explored the gulf between real and represented black masculinity.

"Belton was a literary path blazer and one of the important black gay writers to emerge in the 1980s," Northwestern University professor John Keene told Rod McCullom of Rod 2.0. "His 1996 novel, Almost Midnight, heralded a wave of works to come. Kind, friendly, and very smart all come to mind when I think of Don."

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