Jury: neo-Nazi guilty of murder

December 16th, 2010 by Staff

NEW PORT RICHEY - The jury in the trial of a neo-Nazi accused of stabbing a Pasco County teenager to death says he is guilty.

John Ditullio was charged with 1st degree murder in the stabbing death of 17-year-old Kristofer King. He was charged with attempted 2nd degree murder for attacking and stabbing Patricia Wells.

The jury found him guilty on both counts.

Ditullio’s expression did not change as the judge polled the jury; Patricia Wells, who was in court, was in tears.

This was Ditullio’s second trial on the charges. In 2009, the jury was deadlocked 10-2 in favor of acquittal after a week-long trial.

Prosecutors and police say in 2006, Ditullio broke into his neighbor Patricia Wells’ house, stabbed her, and then attacked and stabbed Kristofer King because King was gay, and Wells was thought to be dating an African-American man.

King died of his wounds; Wells went to the hospital, and returned home later that day. She spoke to reporters with her face and arms covered in bandages, cuts and bruises.

Ditullio held law enforcement in a standoff for several hours that day before police arrested him. He maintained that he didn’t commit the crimes; instead, he said he was the fall guy for another neo-Nazi who he said did the stabbing.

But prosecutors and investigators said Ditullio attacked King and Wells to impress the neo-Nazis because he wanted to be one of them.

Ditullio’s trials garnered much attention over his tattoos. His defense argued the jury shouldn’t be allowed to see most of them, including some on his face. The judge agreed, and a makeup artist was paid $150 a day to cover them.

“When you have offensive tattoos people are going to judge you. It wouldn’t be fair to judge him because the trial should be about the facts, not about tattoos,” defense attorney Bjorn Brunvand said at the beginning of the first trial.

After the verdict, Ditullio’s lawyer said he would appeal the verdict.

“It’s exhausting, but we’re going to keep on doing it. But we hope one of these days not only to save his life but to prove him innocent of this murder,” Brunvand said. “I’m convinced that John Ditullio did not commit this crime, and I will remain convinced of that.”

Ditullio’s surviving victim called him “evil,” and said she happy about the verdict.

“I’m so glad they finally have seen through him, and seen that he is the evil man that he is. I’m so glad the verdict was guilty of both counts,” Patricia Wells said. “I’m definitely for the death penalty. I think what they did to Kris needs to be done to him.”

Ditullio will be sentenced Thursday morning at 8:30 a.m.

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