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Defendant Who Covered Up Tattoos at Trial Declines to Do So in Life-or-Death Penalty Phase

Posted Dec 16, 2010 12:44 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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A neo-Nazi defendant with facial tattoos that many might find disturbing covered them up during his Florida murder trial, with the help of a cosmetologist paid over $100 a day by the state.

But now that he's been convicted in a 2006 attack motivated by bias that left a man dead and a woman injured, 24-year-old John Ditullio is letting the jury get a good look at the Frankenstein-like line of seeming stitches down one side of his face and the swastika and "f--- you" on the side of his neck, according to the St. Petersburg Times.

Ditullio, who was facing either a life term or the death penalty, also declined to present some mitigating evidence concerning his difficult childhood, rejecting his lawyer's advice after yesterday's conviction. However, his mother and his sister told the jury that they still want to be part of his life. And two African-American inmates said he had gone out of his way to be helpful to them.

"I'm not going to beg you people for my life or my death, man. You do what you do. OK? I don't care," Ditullio told the jury. "Life in Florida is death in Florida. But the people that just sat up here and testified that they love me and they want to be part of my life, that's who I ask you to render your verdict on. Not me."

Ditullio was sentenced to life by Judge Michael Andrews in the Pasco Circuit Court case, based on the jury's recommendation.

Earlier coverage:

ABAJournal.com: "Defendant Puts Best Face Forward, After Extreme Makeover, in Capital Murder Case"

St. Petersburg Times: "Jurors question witnesses in Pasco neo-Nazi trial"

St. Petersburg Times: "Jury finds Pasco neo-Nazi guilty in 2006 stabbings, murder"

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