IU Professor’s Killer Sentenced to 50 Years

Posted on May 18, 2011

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DEANNA ALLBRITTIN

Michael Griffin, an ex-Marine, was sentenced to 50 years in prison for the murder of IU assistant English professor Don Belton on Tuesday.

The case, which shocked the Bloomington community and sparked waves of anger from the gay rights community across the Midwest, was decided less than a year and a half after Belton’s body was found in his home.

Griffin went to Belton’s home two days after the two had a sexual encounter during a night of heavy drinking. Griffin accused Belton of raping him and when Belton refused to concede, Griffin stabbed him 22 times with the 10-inch knife he brought with him.

According to the Associated Press, Griffin testified that he felt remorse for his actions.

“You can’t take back things that you do or paths that you’ve trod. All you can do is move forward,” Griffin said. “While I can’t even begin to express how I feel about what I’ve done, it’s with a heavy heart that I move on.”

For the jury, his remorse was not enough.

The jury had the choice between finding Griffin guilty of murder or voluntary manslaughter. But given the numerous stab wounds and the knife and change of clothes Griffin brought with him, the jury decided Belton’s killing was indeed murder.

Although Griffin was sentenced to 50 years in prison, it is likely he will only serve 25.

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Photo courtesy of FOX59.

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Posted in: Campus, Local