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Jury Selected for Murder Trial of IU Professor

Jury selection has begun in the case against Michael Griffin, the man accused of killing Indiana University professor Don Belton.

A jury of 5 men and 7 women have been assembled to hear the case.

Michael Griffin was arrested and charged with killing English professor Don Belton at Belton’s home in late December of 2009. Griffin, 26, alleges Belton — who was 53 at the time of his death — sexually assaulted him prior to the stabbing.

Defense attorney David Collins tip-toed around the finer points of his eventual case Monday including assuring jurors understand the concept of burden of proof.

At least once however Judge Teresa Harper cleared the courtroom after an objection from prosecutor Darcie Winkle that Collins was straying too close to the facts of the trial before any had been formally presented.

Collins admitted to the jurors that Michael Griffin killed Don Belton but asked them to consider whether every instance where one person kills another must be classified as murder.

Prosecutor Winkle asked jurors their thoughts on homosexuality and the Iraq war in which Griffin served. Both sides also asked jurors to prepare themselves to view photos of Belton’s dead body though Judge Harper stopped Collins from showing any during jury selection.

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