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Talk Show Killer Sentenced

Jonathan Schmitz was sentenced to 25 to 50 years in prison Tuesday 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.

"I'd like to ask God for forgiveness," he said. He also apologized to the Amedure family.

Jonathan Schmitz, center, is hugged by Scott Amedure in a video image shown to jurists.

"The sentence of this court will rob you of your youth," Potts told Schmitz. It was the same sentence he had received after his first murder trial. The prior conviction was overturned on appeal.

Amedure's weeping mother asked Potts to give Schmitz a long prison term.

"When will we be able to get on with our lives? When will justice be served and be final?" Patricia Graves said, her voice cracking.

Amedure's father, Frank Amedure Sr., also wept as he spoke, telling the judge, "I'll never see my son's smile again."

Defense attorney Jerome Sabbota asked for no more than 15 years in prison. He said he would appeal the conviction. Jurors should have been allowed to hear evidence about Schmitz's suicidal behavior and alcoholism, he said.

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, along with a sexual fantasy. During the taping, Schmitz said he was heterosexual.

Schmitz killed Amedure three days later in his home.

In April jurors in a civil wrongful death case against Warner Bros., the corporate parent of The Jenny Jones Show, awarded Amedure's family $25 million. That verdict is being appealed.

Jones and the producers of the show were not called to testify at the criminal trial, as they had been in the first criminal trial and the civil trial.

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