TV star killed his friend after pal confessed ‘romantic fantasies’ for him on TV

In 1995 Scott Amedure went on a TV chat show to confess his romantic feelings to his friend Jonathan Schmitz.

It would prove a fatal decision.

Instead of leading to a happy ending, it resulted in his tragic death and the object of his desire being jailed for his murder.

Scott, 32, was a willing participant on The Jenny Jones Show, a show with increasingly controversial stories behind the appearances of those taking part.

In a segment called 'Same Sex Crushes' Scott confessed his feelings to Schmitz, an acquaintance of his in their hometown of Lake Orion, Michigan, USA.

Schmitz agreed to appear on the show when he was told he had a secret admirer because he was "curious", although he has always insisted that he believed it was a woman and claims producers hinted that was the case.

Tragic Scott shared his intimate fantasies about his pal before Schmitz was brought onto the stage.

Reports at the time said the two men exchanged an awkward embrace before the host Jenny Jones dropped the bombshell.

Schmitz seemed to make a joke of the situation before insisting he was "completely heterosexual" – but events rapidly spiralled out of control.

Despite the awkward encounter on the show, the two men are said to have gone out drinking together before it is claimed a sexual act took place between the pair.

But a suggestive note sent to Schmitz three days after filming the show would seal Scott's fate.

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The killer assumed it was from his pal and went to an ATM to take out cash to buy a shotgun.

He questioned Scott about the note before returning to his car, grabbing his gun and heading back to Scott's trailer where he shot his twice in the chest, killing him.

Schmitz then called the police and confessed to the killing.

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At his highly-publicised trial, Schmitz was convicted of second-degree murder, which is a killing that was not premeditated but shows extreme indifference to human life.

He was jailed for between 25 and 30 years in 1996 but his conviction was overturned on appeal, only to be reinstated when he was tried for a second time.

At the trial, it emerged that Schmitz suffered from bipolar disorder and Graves' disease, an autoimmune disease that affects the thyroid.

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His legal team also used the controversial "gay panic defense". It is a legal tactic available in some US states in which a defendant claims they acted in a state of violent, temporary insanity, committing assault or murder, because of unwanted same-sex sexual advances.

This helped Schmitz avoid a life sentence without the possibility of parole.

Schmitz, now 51, was released from jail on August 22, 2017.

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After his early release, which the Michigan Department of Corrections said was due to "good behaviour" credit, Scott's brother Frank Amedure Jr spoke about the decision.

He told People: "I guess it’s like any other person who’s lost a family member to murder – they wouldn’t feel comfortable about the murderer being released.

"It might be easier if he (Schmitz) was old, an old grey-haired man.

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"But he’s still pretty young at 47 – he’s still got a lot to go, and my brother doesn’t."

He went on: "But there’s a side of, at least me and maybe some of my family members, that we do feel he was victimised in all of this, and so we can empathise with all of that."

Scott's heartbroken family were initially awarded $29 million (£23.5 million) in compensation from The Jenny Jones Show and distributor Warner Bros.

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The family's lawyers claimed the ambush tactics used by the show directly contributed to Scott's death.

A jury found that the show was both irresponsible and negligent, claiming that it intentionally created an unpredictable situation without due concern for the possible consequences.

The verdict was later overturned by the Michigan Court of Appeals.

While the Michigan Supreme Court declined to hear the case, Scott's family have always blamed the show for his death, ruing the day he and his killer appeared on it.

Scott's father, Frank Amedure Sr, said: "If they'd (Scott and Schmitz) never gone on The Jenny Jones Show, those two kids would be alright today."

The Jenny Jones Show was taken off the air in 2003 after plummeting ratings in its final seasons.

Schmitz's case was examined in an episode of the Netflix series Trial By Media, which aired in 2020.

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