The Michigan man who murdered another man days after the victim revealed his crush on the murderer on the Jenny Jones talk show is scheduled to be released on parole next week, the Detroit Free Press reports. Jonathan Schmitz, now 47, was led to believe he was going on the show in 1995 so a woman could reveal herself as his secret admirer; during his appearance, he found out his admirer was actually Scott Amedure. Three days later, Schmitz went to Amedure's home and fatally shot him, then called 911 and told the operator he did it because of what happened on the show. He was convicted of second-degree murder in 1996 and sentenced to 25 to 50 years in prison.
The jury found that the talk show had been a catalyst for the murder, and the case threw the sometimes controversial tactics used by TV talk shows into the spotlight. Schmitz's attorneys argued that he was ambushed by the show, while prosecutors said he was spurred to kill Amedure by his negative attitudes about gay people. "He deserved imprisonment but so did everybody else involved in that Jenny Jones show," the Amedure family's attorney tells Fox 2 Detroit. "He was the perpetrator but he was also a victim of them and they got off scot-free. That show set him up and certainly took Scott Amedure's life for no reason." Schmitz, then 24, and Amedure, 32, were acquaintances at the time; the episode never aired, though clips were featured on news shows, the Oakland Press reports.