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The murder of Don Belton

By Scott Tibbs, January 11, 2010

Late last month, IU professor Don Belton was found murdered in his home, stabbed to death by an Iraq war veteran. Something happened between Belton and Michael Griffin, and an argument over it turned physical and led to Belton's death. We'll probably never know for sure what really happened on Christmas Day.


According to the probable cause affidavit for the case, Griffin told investigators Belton had sexually assaulted him twice on Christmas Day. Griffin told police he went to Beltonís home early Sunday to talk about the incident, according to Detective Marty Deckardís sworn statement.
Source: December 31, 2009 Herald-Times.

Militant homosexuals have complained loudly about the reporting of this allegation and have set up a web site pressing for justice for Belton. Mark Price wrote a letter to the editor in which he shamelessly argued: "many of the comments in this and other papers can only focus upon being gay as some sort of reason for the manís murder."

Absolutely unbelievable. The allegation was that Professor Belton had committed sexual assault and that the person who killed the professor alleged that he was sexually assaulted by the professor. By intentionally confusing homosexuality with sexual assault, Mark Price demonstrates himself to be as "homophobic" as Fred Phelps and the Campbellsburg protesters. The hypocrisy is so thick you can cut it with a knife.

I'm always reluctant to take the word of a murderer, so I view the allegations of sexual assault with skepticism. When someone commits a murder, it immediately goes to his credibility and undermines the believability of statements he makes unless those statements are supported by other factual evidence. But the possibility that the professor committed sexual assault should not be swept under the rug for the sake of political correctness. It is a legitimate part of the investigation and should be considered in what specific charge to file.

Even if the allegations are true (again, I am always reluctant to take the word of a murderer) the murder of Professor Belton was still a crime and should be harshly punished. Griffin should never see the outside of a prison. If Griffin was sexually assaulted as he claims, then he should have gone to the police, pressed charges against Belton and allowed the legal system to move forward. Vigilantism or personal vengeance should not take the place of the rule of law.

From a Christian perspective, God has given the "sword" to the governing authorities He has placed over us, and we are not to usurp the authority of the elected government by seeking personal vengeance. (See Romans 13:1-4.)

Perhaps Don Belton sexually assaulted Michael Griffin. Perhaps no sexual assault took place and Griffin is lying. What the prosecutor's office should not do is sweep allegations of sexual assault under the rug for the sake of preserving political correctness and because militant homosexuals are loudly complaining about "gay panic" and suggesting the murder could have been a "hate crime." All relevant facts and reliable information should be included in the investigation of Professor Belton's murder and the prosecution of the murderer.

This case is a test for Chris Gaal, who is up for re-election in November. If he allows his professional decisions on the case to be influenced by political correctness, he will prove he is unfit to be prosecutor and the voters of Monroe County should terminate his employment (ideally in a landslide) in November.