Jonathan Schmitz was sentenced to 25 to 50 years in prison today for killing a gay acquaintance who revealed a crush on him during a taping of "The Jenny Jones Show."
Schmitz trembled as Oakland County Circuit Court Judge Wendy Potts sentenced him for the 1995 shotgun slaying of Scott Amedure. It was the same sentence he had received after his first murder trial. The previous conviction was overturned on appeal.
"I'd like to ask God for forgiveness," he said. He also apologized to the Amedure family.
Defense attorney Jerome Sabbota asked for no more than 15 years in prison. He said he would appeal the conviction, arguing that jurors should have been allowed to hear evidence about Schmitz's suicidal behavior and alcoholism.
Schmitz was convicted Aug. 26 of second-degree murder in the shotgun death of Amedure, who had appeared with him and a mutual acquaintance for a March 1995 taping of the talk show.
During the episode titled "Same-Sex Secret Crushes," Amedure revealed his crush on Schmitz. Schmitz killed him three days later in the victim's home.
In April, jurors in a civil wrongful-death case against Warner Bros., the talk show's corporate parent, awarded Amedure's family $25 million. That verdict is being appealed.