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KENTUCKYREDBONE
12-06-2009, 01:45 PM
Jurors won't see his tattoos
By Lisa Buie, Times Staff Writer

Published Friday, December 4, 2009


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NEW PORT RICHEY Taxpayers will foot the bill for a makeup artist to cover up some potentially offensive tattoos on the face and neck of a neo-Nazi during his murder trial slated for next week.

Attorneys for John Allen Ditullio Jr. aren't taking any chances when it comes to the 23-year-old's homemade tattoos inked since his arrest three years ago.

"This on the side says 'f--- you' (and) is very offensive regardless of whether he had it (at the time of the crime) or didn't have it," defense attorney Bjorn Brunvand argued in court Friday.

Circuit Judge Michael Andrews said he would allow a licensed cosmetologist to be brought in an hour before each day's proceedings to cover up tattoos. Ditullio is charged with the March 23, 2006, fatal stabbing of 17-year-old Kristopher King.

In a previous hearing in Pinellas County, Chief Judge Thomas McGrady authorized spending up to $150 per day for the cosmetologist, but only if Andrews the trial judge ruled that it was necessary, court spokesman Ron Stuart said.

Brunvand told the Times that Ditullio, while in jail, acquired a tattoo that looks like a barbed wire going down one side of his face. He also got a swastika on his neck, too high up to be covered by a shirt collar.

The problem, Brunvand said, is that the average person on a jury might be "either offended or intimidated and maybe frightened by these tattoos." Brunvand is concerned the tattoos not the evidence might lead jurors to suspect Ditullio is guilty.

In other words, the tattoos could prejudice a jury, even though they "have nothing to do with the facts of the case," Brunvand told the Times.

Brunvand argued in court Friday that the neo-Nazi group Ditullio was affiliated with wore uniforms but "that doesn't mean you have to wear it in court."

Ditullio, who attended the court hearing, wore a red jail uniform issued to high risk inmates. Dituillo is classified as such because he once was caught trying to escape. The tattoos are in black ink. So how did Dutullio, who was never free on bail, get them?

Sheriff's officials say inmates have many ways to tattoo themselves in jail. Sometimes they sharpen a staple or a paper clip on concrete and dip it in ink from a ballpoint pen.

"There are a lot of things you can put in your body to make a tattoo," said Pasco sheriff's spokesman Kevin Doll. "If we find them, we confiscate them."

Assistant State Attorney Mike Halkitis said the makeup should be limited to tattoos obtained after Ditullio's arrest in the 2006 stabbing. He argued that prejudice wasn't a good enough reason to cover all of Ditullio's tattoos.

"Everything he did that day was prejudicial," he said.

Despite their popularity, tattoos still are taboo when it comes to court proceedings.

A teenage American assassin for one of Mexico's most powerful drug cartels covered his tattoos during his 2007 trial for his role in a shooting, according to the Houston Chronicle. Whether it helped couldn't be determined. The 17-year-old ended up pleading guilty before the jury could reach a verdict. Two years ago, a Mississippi lawmaker filed a bill to stop inmates from having tattoos removed and body piercings repaired at public expense.

Judge Andrews granted Brunvand's motion with little comment except to say the makeup artist's name would have to be submitted in order to undergo standard background checks and must arrive an hour before court begins.

The tattoos that Ditullio had before his 2006 arrest including small crosses under both eyes will not be covered up. Halikitis also asked that tattoos on Ditullio's knuckles be left exposed because photos of scratches on his hands are being used as evidence.

Ditullio faces charges of first-degree murder and attempted murder. Deputies say he put on a gas mask, broke into neighbor Patricia Wells' home in west Pasco County, stabbed her and killed King, who was visiting.

Wells told authorities the neo-Nazis terrorized her because she was frequently visited by a black acquaintance. Investigators say they found Wells' blood on Ditullio's shoe. His American Nazi buddies told detectives they saw Ditullio return to their clubhouse the night of the stabbing wearing a gas mask and saying he just stabbed the neighbors.

The state is seeking the death penalty. Jury selection is to begin Monday.

Times staff writer Curtis Krueger and researcher Shirl Kennedy contributed to this report.

Bonnie
12-06-2009, 08:08 PM
If it will help convict him, go ahead. He's already living off the taxpayer's dime anyways. No sense in having his lawyer try to go for a "mistrial" or "appeal" on whatever grounds saying his client didn't get a fair trial. :wink:

J.B.
12-07-2009, 03:48 AM
I agree that it is a waste of tax money,especially if they can prove that he was affiliated with the Neo-Nazis before he went to jail and especially if his affiliation with the group and their beliefs are what led to the crime in question.

It is a fair thing to consider that SOME people end up joining gangs like that once they enter prison because they have no choice, but clearly that is not the case in this situation.

flo
12-07-2009, 04:25 AM
Hey folks, how would you like this guy as your next-door neighbor?

http://img442.imageshack.us/img442/9162/creep.jpg



Just saw this Drudge headline while I was copying the picture:
"COPENHAGEN CLIMATE SUMMIT: 1,200 LIMOS, 140 PRIVATE PLANES..."

:scratchchin:

Vizion
12-07-2009, 11:54 AM
So sad how lost this kid is.

Tyburn
12-16-2009, 07:45 PM
I say hang him :)