Hung jury in neo-Nazi trial

Fox News, Tampa Bay/December 13, 2009

New Port Richey - A jury was unable to come up with a verdict in the case of accused murderer and self professed neo-Nazi John Ditullio.

At 10:40 p.m. Friday night, after almost 11 hours of deliberation, Circuit Judge Michael Andrews declared the jury hung and ordered prosecutors and the defense to return to court at 8:30 a.m. on Monday morning.

The jury told the judge that ten of the jurors believed Ditullio to be innocent. The remaining two were convinced he was guilty of killing 17-year-old Kristopher King and stabbing Tricia Wells at her home three years ago.

It's been three years since 17-year-old Kristopher King was stabbed to death. John Ditullio has spent as many years in jail accused of the heinous murder. But Friday, one witness said she has known for the past two years who really did it.

His name, she said, is Shawn Plott.

"Shawn said to me that he kinda felt bad because he did this and he feels bad that a kid has to go away for this but it's okay because he wouldn't ave made it as a Nazi anyway," testified Samantha Troupe.

Shawn Plott, a fellow neo-nazi to Ditullio, is the man the defense says committed the crimes.

They say he stabbed King to death and left Tricia Wells for dead at her home next to the Nazi compound.

But Plott is nowhere to be found, and the prosecution suggests Troupe may be covering for Ditullio.

Troupe is engaged to Brian Buckley, the former president of the American Nazi Group. He's now in prison. Prosecutors suggested Friday that Troupe is holding a grudge against Wells, who helped send Troupe's fiancé to prison for a previous burglary.

"He went to trial didn't he? And he was convicted by a jury? That upset you. The person you look up to that you're going to marry is in prison, correct?" argued Prosecutor Mike Halkitis.

Ditullio told the jury himself on Thursday that he's an innocent man. He says he was drugged and left inside the compound to be the fall guy three years ago.

By noon Friday, the jury had heard closing arguments and was sent off to decide whether or not Ditullio is responsible for King's death.

With the declaration of a hung jury, jurors were dismissed Friday night. None of them wanted to comment on the trial or their indecision as a group.

Tricia Wells, who survived the attack said late Friday night, said she was extremely disappointed in the prosecution and now fears that man who tried to kill her will get another shot to go free.

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