Professor Belton was gay. it is relevant as the murder suspect is claiming 'gay panic'.
Pharyngula puts it this way: The fact that he [Belton] was gay is going to be an unfortunate issue here, since the accused killer is offering as an excuse the claim that Belton had assaulted him.
Of course, Belton was killed in his own home. With a ten-inch long military knife, which I'm sure is a common accessory carried by visitors to professor's homes. And he was stabbed several times in the front and five or six times in the back, suggesting that he'd assaulted his killer by way of a back flip, trying to batter him with his shoulder blades…his horrifically gay shoulder blades.
Professor Belton was a recent arrival to Bloomington, since Fall 2008. he had taught at U of Michigan and U Penn. Belton edited Speak My Name, an critically-acclaimed anthology of essays on black masculinity.
Bloomington is a charming liberal town; it is, as many other university towns in fly-over country, a bit of a liberal oasis as to its surroundings. I can't imagine the sorrow of Professor Belton's family, friends, colleagues, and students.