A neighbor found the body of 53-year-old Don Belton in his Bloomington home on December 28, reports WYHR-TV.
When the judge asked Michael Griffin how he pleads to the charge of murder, he responded, “not guilty,” even though, according to court documents, he previously gave a full confession to police that he did commit murder and he had a reason for doing it.
The former military man told police that Belton, who was openly gay, sexually assaulted him in front of his girlfriend, while they were both intoxicated on Christmas Day.
And because the assistant professor of English refused to “show remorse,” Griffin stabbed him to death, according to court documents.
Griffin, an ex-marine, confessed to police that he plunged a 10-inch military style knife six times into Belton’s body.
Hundreds of people gathered in Bloomington Friday at a candlelight vigil to honor Belton.
Friends said Belton’s death came as a shock and remembered him as a beloved member of the community.