Neo-Nazi Trial: John Ditullio sentenced to life without parole, tells jury "I'm not going to beg you for my life"

5:15 PM, Dec 16, 2010   |    comments
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New Port Richey, Florida -- After less than 30 minutes of deliberations, a jury recommended life in prison to the man found guilty of killing a gay teen and stabbing a woman in New Port Richey.

The judge followed the jury's recommendation and on Thursday sentenced John Ditullio, 24, to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Earlier on Thursday, Ditullio spoke directly to the jury during his sentencing at the West Pasco County Courthouse.

"I'm not going to beg you for my life.  Do what you do... but the people that just sat up here and testified that they love me, that's what I ask you to render your verdict on.  Not me," Ditullio said.

Each day during the trial, a makeup artist was paid up to $150 to cover Ditullio's tattoos, which include a Nazi swastika, barbed wire and an expletive.

On Thursday, the makeup artist was there, but attorneys told the judge that Ditullio didn't want to wear any makeup.

Late Wednesday night, Ditullio was found guilty of first-degree murder and attempted murder.

Prosecutors say he broke into a mobile home in New Port Richey of 2006 and fatally stabbed Kristofer King, 17, because he was gay, and injured Patricia Wells because she was friends with a black man.

Wells was in court for the penalty phase Thursday.  She said didn't sleep at home after the jury handed down the guilty verdict Wednesday night.

"I got a hotel," she said.  "I'm still scared.  I'm scared of retaliation."

During the penalty phase Thursday, two black inmates testified about their friendships with Ditullio.  One told the courtroom that he had tried to kill himself but that Ditullio offered him hope. 

The other told the court that Ditullio bought him a cake from the jail commissary for his 25th birthday.

"John making that cake for me was the best thing that ever happened to me," said inmate Adam Jones.

Ditullio's sister and grandmother also took the stand to say that Ditullio is "very kind" and artistic.

Ditullio's attorneys plan to appeal the guilty verdict.  They have 30 days to file their appeal. 

Because of the public outcry over the cost of the state-appointed makeup artist, they told the judge they would represent Ditullio pro bono, or free of charge, during the appeals process.

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