| By Jeffrey Montgomery
The Triangle Foundation, Michigan
Pontiac, Michigan—August 19-- The second murder trial for Jon Schmitz is underway in the Oakland County Courthouse. The admitted killer is getting his second bite at the apple due to incompetent rulings by the first trial judge, Francis X. O'Brien, since retired.
Schmitz killed a gay man, Scott Amedure on 9 March 1995 by firing two point blank shotgun shells into the unarmed, surprised victim while he stood in the doorway of his home during a visit by Schmitz.
The two were at least acquaintances at the time. They also had shared an experience taping a television program about "secret crushes." The program, which never aired, featured Scott making a "surprise" announcement that he had a crush on Schmitz.
In this incarnation of the Schmitz trial, the defense team will not be able to rely on the Whitman's Sampler approach of defenses that defined the previous outing.
In that case, an attractive selection of excuses, from Graves disease affliction to an anguished childhood were offered to the jury in hopes that they would find some reason among them to excuse the murderer. If they didn't like the way one tasted, they could put it back and try another, and Schmitz' lawyers plied them with a seemingly endless supply of goodies to try out. In the end, the killer got a second-degree conviction.
Up to fifty years behind bars.
The present trial will not be able to rely on such a variety. Schmitz is now up for second-degree, max, a crime for which mental defect is not a defense. No more Graves's disease, no bad thyroids, and no history of weird behavior, no excuse of a bad time growing up and whippings by his dad.
Schmitz will have to be recast in his role this time around. Now he will be sweet boy driven to unholy murder by an obsessed gay marauder.
Faced with a challenge of defending an admitted cold-blooded killer, the defense will most likely sink to the lowest depths, but surest of bets, in cases of people who slaughter gays: "homosexual panic," and all of its sensational variations. "Homo panic" is the last desperate grasp of guilty men who murder gays.
So, Scott Amedure who was defenseless in front of Schmitz on the day he was killed, will also stand defenseless, since he's dead, when his actions and life are put on trial in Judge Potts' courtroom in Pontiac
Unlike rape or domestic violence cases where going after the victim is regarded as risky, juries will look for reasons to excuse the murderers of gays. Expect testimony to get very ugly, with the specter of a faux homosexual predator and specious allegations that Scott was a stalker.
A drowning man will grasp at any thread to save himself.
Jeffrey Montgomery: email@example.com