Fred Gibson said that his client was lured into an appearance on the show in March of last year for a segment about secret admirers and their fantasies. Schmitz, 26, was told his admirer could be a woman, said Gibson. Instead, it was a gay man, Scott Amedure, 32, who told how he dreamed about filling the underpants of Schmitz--who says he's straight--with whipped cream.
The segment never aired, but Schmitz, as his attorney told the story, felt so used that he bought a shotgun three days after the taping, went to Amedure's mobile home and fired two murderous blasts.
"Jonathan, you will hear, went into this believing people were telling him the truth," Gibson said. He also portrayed Schmitz as suffering from both mental and physical problems that contributed to his rage.
"Embarrassment is not an excuse for murder," replied Assistant Prosecutor Roman Kalytiak in his opening remarks. He said that Schmitz was clear-headed when he bought the gun and drove to Amedure's place and that he turned himself in and confessed to the crime about an hour after the killing.
The first witness, a sheriff's detective, testified that Schmitz told him that he bought the gun after finding what he thought was a suggestive note from Amedure.
That Schmitz killed Amedure is not in dispute in this trial. The jury's job is not to find him innocent or guilty, but to decide whether to convict him of first- or second-degree murder, manslaughter or reckless discharge of a weapon.