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Appeals Court Reduces Ex-Marine's Murder Sentence

Last updated on Friday, September 21, 2012

(BLOOMINGTON) - The Indiana Court of Appeals has cut five years from the prison sentence of an ex-Marine convicted of fatally stabbing a gay Indiana University English professor in 2009.

In reducing Michael Griffin's 50-year term to 45 years, the appeals court cited Griffin's contention that IU professor Don Belton sexually assaulted him two days before the December 2009 murder in Bloomington.

The court's ruling says it "cannot ignore the pervasive evidence that the homicide was in response to a sexual assault."

In the same ruling, the court upheld the 28-year-old Griffin's murder conviction in Belton's killing.

Monroe County Chief Deputy Prosecutor Bob Miller told The Herald-Times the ruling appears to reflect a sympathetic attitude toward Griffin, who stabbed the 53-year-old Belton 21 times and cut his throat.

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