On October 18, 2004, Arthur Shelton, a self described Christian and Eagle Scout, murdered his friend and roommate, Larry Hooper, because Hooper didn't believe in God.
The trial began with the taped phone call Arthur Shelton placed to the Taylor police department in Taylor, Michigan, October 18, 2004, at precisely 12:44 AM. Shelton sounded calm and pridefull when he told the dispatcher he had just shot "the devil himself" with a revolver and a shotgun because "he (Hooper) didn't believe in God." Shelton told the dispatcher he was "still armed and ready to shoot again in case he moves. I want to make sure he's gone." When the dispatcher asked how many times he shot the victim Shelton replied, "hopefully enough."
Throughout the 15 minute phone call Shelton often repeated, "I'm a Christian and an Eagle Scout and I wouldn't lie," and "don't worry about me, I'm fine, but he's the devil." The dispatcher struggled to persuade Shelton to lay down his weapon and go outdoors with his arms raised. Shelton resisted, as he feared Hooper might not be "dead enough", but eventually complied.
Dead enough was an understatement. When the police arrived they were confronted with the grizzly scene of Hooper sitting upright on the couch with his head blown away and his brain laying on his hand. The autopsy report presented by the prosecutor was gruesome to be sure, but, for the record, Larry Hooper tested negative for all narcotics and alcohol.
Testimony by the arresting officer and the officers transporting Shelton to the police station revealed that while the officers were interested in gathering details about the incident, Shelton was obsessed with talking about God, the Eagle Scouts and stating he "would not talk to anyone who didn't believe in God but that he would talk to the police because he felt they believed in God."
He stated he "was not sorry for a second that he killed Hooper." He stated, "In the eyes of the law I was wrong and will probably spend the rest of my life in prison, but in the eyes of God I have killed an evil person -- the devil himself."
Judge Bill invited Shelton to make a statement and after fumbling for words Shelton stated he was sorry that Larry was dead but he did a job that had to be done. He stated that he actually, "saw fire and smoke coming from Larry's eyes and knew he was the devil himself."
Even with all that behind us, December 19th, the day of sentencing, was still a horrific experience for myself, George Shiffer, Joe Milon, Lee Helms and Marty Maier. When leaving the courtroom the 'Christian' Shelton family lay in wait for us in the hallway. Their tears dried, they surrounded us shouting these comments: "The one good thing of all of this is that another Atheist is dead and the world is better off for it" and "The only good Atheist is a dead Atheist."
Arthur Shelton; Shelton Family, Newsvine 152 Comments
[11/5/2009 3:12:53 PM]
Fundie Index: 277
Submitted By: Ajax
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"When leaving the courtroom the 'Christian' Shelton family lay in wait for us in the hallway. Their tears dried, they surrounded us shouting these comments: "The one good thing of all of this is that another Atheist is dead and the world is better off for it" and "The only good Atheist is a dead Atheist." "
And I'm sure they would have had the Christian guts to say this to the faces of Larry Hooper's family, too. Sure.
11/5/2009 3:17:08 PM
Ok, this type of shit is what truly scares me about fundies. And they have the gall to claim that they're the ones being persecuted??
As for the kid that did the shooting, get him checked out for schizophrenia or something. Like, now.
11/5/2009 3:19:08 PM
Feel that Christian love.
11/5/2009 3:19:39 PM
And the sad part is that this guy probably believes he did absolutely nothing wrong and is going to go to heaven when he dies. The sad part is that his family apparently doesn't see anything wrong with what he did and seem to condone it.
It's things like this which make me afraid to openly profess my atheism.
11/5/2009 3:23:16 PM
According to the article, Shelton was convicted of "second-degree murder with mental illness" and sentenced to 45 years imprisonment (eligible for early parole after 25 years).
Shelton is also 50 years old, so he'll be at least 75 by the time he's released.
11/5/2009 3:23:56 PM
At first I thought 'it's mental illness, not fundamentalism.' Then I got to the part about the family.
Sure, the guy's clearly got a screw loose, but with batshit fundies like that around him, little wonder his delusions combined with fanatacism to create a homocidal loony.
I wish all the Sheltons had been put behind bars. It's pretty clear they're no asset to society.
11/5/2009 3:28:36 PM
I have nothing to say about this....this sucks! His brain laying in his hand?!
11/5/2009 3:33:52 PM
This is the mentality of people who plow jet airliners into buildings or detonate themselves on buses filled with school children.
11/5/2009 3:52:09 PM
Thou shalt not kill. No exceptions, no free passes.
11/5/2009 3:52:13 PM
This is deeply disturbing. I'm actually speechless.
11/5/2009 3:54:34 PM
11/5/2009 3:58:11 PM
"When the police arrived they were confronted with the grizzly scene...."
Hey, hold on a second! How did that bear get in there?
11/5/2009 4:01:16 PM
And this is why we should reconsider freedom of religion, folks. If nobody was unChristian we wouldn't have to shoot people for being unChristian, now would we?
11/5/2009 4:23:26 PM
The last part truly frightened me.
I feel the ending highlighted the real intentions of most "true christians". This is yet another example of how organized religion has poisoned the minds of people everywhere.
My deepest sympathies to the Hooper family.
11/5/2009 4:25:10 PM
Wha....What the fuck? What I really don't get was that if Arthur was so religious and Larry was so not....why did he kill him instead of doing the annoying, but relativity harmless, attempted conversion crap. I though Christians were suppose to PRAY for lost souls....not kill them and take away their only chance to believe (Following Christian Logic rules). Why is it that this doesn't even make sense from the killer's perspective?
Not every Christian is bad...but those ones should be taken out and shot.
11/5/2009 4:27:44 PM
@ Semi-Christian :
Indeed, if Christian doctrtine is followed to its logical extreme, you should convert him, THEN shoot him. Don't take the chance that he'll relapse into unbelief -- make him die while he's still in a state of grace!
11/5/2009 4:31:02 PM
Remind me again, how are these people morally superior?
This is why I've been afraid to date an atheist, much less admit I'm friends with one.
11/5/2009 4:38:37 PM
@ Doubting Thomas: Of course not. They don't believe in reality; they believe in God. God isn't like an entity, or a thing, or anything tangible like that; it's an intrinsic part of nature, like the color red, or the third dimension...reality is therefore an irrelevant toy for God. Theistic morals aren't rooted in any sense of benefit or harm to people or society, as those are reality-based concepts; theistic morals are based on the decree of some-not-thing that is greater than reality. So if God declared that raping and eating children was "good", then that would be the definition of "good" to theists.
11/5/2009 4:38:38 PM
Cock my suck, they're creeping north. Thats only like an hour from my cottage.
11/5/2009 4:38:59 PM
"The one good thing of all of this is that another Atheist is dead and the world is better off for it" and "The only good Atheist is a dead Atheist."
The christian taliban in action. If anyone ever needed more proof that religion is dangerous.
11/5/2009 4:43:18 PM
Just wait, some idiot will get their hands on this story and say him and his family "aren't REAL Christians." Those fuckers should be institutionalized as well.
11/5/2009 4:46:26 PM
I'm going to file this away for future reference. It'll be a nice piece of evidence to prove to a fundie that Biblical morality does not have any practical use.
11/5/2009 4:58:57 PM
I'm surprised he wasn't found insane. We had a similar crime in NJ where a guy stabbed his wife in the face with a screwdriver because he "saw the devil coming out of her eyes". He ended up in the nut house.
The scarier thing is Shelton's family's response.
11/5/2009 5:04:21 PM
The one good thing of all of this is that another Atheist is dead and the world is better off for it" and "The only good Atheist is a dead Atheist."
They are lucky I wasn't there to hear them say that or I would have personally done my best to beat the ignorance out of them one by one.
11/5/2009 5:14:01 PM
"Put your sword back in its place," Jesus said to him, "for all who draw the sword will die by the sword...."
Hmmm, shooting someone doesn't sound very Christlike to me.
11/5/2009 5:16:09 PM
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