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Suspect Held in Shooting of Liberace’s Former Lover

November 27, 1991 GMT

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) _ A suspect in the shooting of Liberace’s lover was arrested Wednesday on charges of attempted murder and armed robbery, authorities said.

A week after he was shot, Scott Thorson remained in critical condition in a Jacksonville hospital. Police asked that his location not be disclosed. Thorson was shot three times, at least once in the chest.

The suspect, Melvin Jerome Owen, 25, has a felony record dating from 1987 and ranging from a forgery arrest to convictions for possession and sale of crack cocaine, said Sgt. Gus Carlson, a spokesman for the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office.


Witnesses identified Owen as the man they saw running from a Howard Johnson motel after the Nov. 20 shooting, police said.

Robbery is believed to have been the motive, Carlson said, but evidence of drug use also was found in Thorson’s room. Thorson, 32, gained notoriety in 1982 when he filed a $12 million palimony lawsuit against Liberace, who died in 1987 of an AIDS-related illness. The lawsuit was settled out of court.

He is the author of a kiss-and-tell book, ″Behind the Candelabra: My Life With Liberace.″

Thorson’s attorney, Joel Strote, said his client also goes by the name of Jess Marlow.