Neo-Nazi Robert Reitmeier guilty of second-degree murder in the brutal beating death of Mark Mariani

Calgary Sun/November 20, 2013

By Kevin Martin

Neo-Nazi skinhead Robert Reitmeier is facing the prospect of life behind bars after a jury convicted him late Wednesday of second-degree murder.

And while the family of slain Calgarian Mark Mariani applauded the decision, they are still left to wonder what caused Reitmeier and his fellow white supremacist, Tyler Sturrup, to randomly attack.

“Two evil people took a chance and took an opportunity to do something to him,” younger brother Dino Mariani said, of the random attack.

“I think it was senseless, I think it was stupid ... it was some people who didn’t care about another life.”

A three-man, eight-woman jury deliberated more than 21 hours over two days before convicting Reitmeier as charged in the Oct. 3, 2010 slaying.

Mark Mariani was at a store in a strip mall early that morning when he wandered into an alley, possibly to empty an ostomy bag he wore for health reasons.

There he met Sturrup and Reitmeier who brutally beat him.

A badly wounded Mariani was able to stumble back to his SUV, but fell to the ground by the vehicle, where he was found hours later.

After the verdict, Crown prosecutor Adam May said crimes are often resolved without ever knowing the motivation behind the offender.

“I’m sure there’s frustration for the family,” May said.

“Unfortunately for us, often in these types of cases you will never know what happened.”

The case hinged on surreptitiously recorded conversations between Sturrup and Reitmeier and a large mural of graffiti drawn on the strip mall’s alley wall.

The artwork, attributed to Reitmeier by Sturrup in an April 20, 2011 phone call between the two, included a red swastika.

A sample of the paint was compared to a stain on Mariani’s clothing and matched.

Testing done the same type of paint determined it would dry within 11 minutes, placing both offenders and Mariani in the alley at about the same time.

Defence counsel Norm Kelly had argued there was insufficient evidence to prove Reitmeier, who was seen on liquor store video footage 90 minutes before Mariani arrived at the mall, was there when the killing took place.

Justice Colleen Kenny will sentence Reitmeier to an automatic life sentence and will hear submissions next Tuesday on parole ineligibility.

That can be set at anywhere from 10 to 25 years, but it will be up to the National Parole Board to determine if Reitmeier is ever released back into the community.

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