Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Retrial for accused neo-Nazi killer

December 14, 2009

TAMPA BAY, Fla., Dec. 14 (UPI) -- A retrial has been ordered for self-professed neo-Nazi John Ditullio, accused of killing a man and attempting to kill a woman in Florida, court documents say.

Ditullio's first trial ended in a hung jury Friday with a vote of 10-2 favoring not guilty. The tattoos of a swastika, barbed wire and the words "f--- you" had been covered each day of the trial with makeup applied by an artist paid for by public funds, the Web site Tampa Bay Online reported Monday.

The retrial has been set for March 2010. If convicted in the March 23, 2006, stabbing death of Kristofer King, Ditullio could receive the death penalty.

Prosecutors say Ditullio was trying to impress leaders of the American Nazis when he allegedly put on a gas mask, broke into the mobile home of neighbor Patricia Wells after midnight and knifed Wells in the face because he thought she was friendly with a black man. Ditullio then allegedly killed King, Tampa Bay Online said.

Wells testified during last week's trial her assailant wore khaki pants and a white T-shirt. Witnesses claim Ditullio had been wearing black pants and a red T-shirt that night and was wearing those clothes when he was arrested the next day, the St. Petersburg (Florida) Times reported.

A defense witness, Samantha Troupe, testified Friday another member of the American Nazis, Shawn Plott, told her he had committed the crimes, Tampa Bay Online said.

Authorities say they do not know where Plott is.

© 2009 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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