A man with ties to a neo-Nazi group pleaded guilty to second degree murder in the beating death of Mark Mariani.
Tyler Sturrup was sentenced on Monday to life in prison with no chance of parole for 10 years.
He was charged after 47-year-old Mark Mariani died in a parking lot along 16th Avenue. N.W.
Calgary police believed the beating was a random act.
Mariani was just beginning to get his life together after a decade long battle with Crohn's disease.
In court on Monday, his family described him as loving and generous.
His brother-in-law Clare Weltzin was given a chance to speak.
"You have wounded the world by taking away a kind and tender heart," he said while addressing Sturrup directly. "I would not even wish this on you or your family."
The victim's brother Dino Mariani says the guilty plea took that family by surprise.
"I think we were all preparing for a long lengthy trial. We were preparing to go the distance with whatever we needed to do and it was a shock that this turned around like it did," Mariani said.
After being sentenced, Sturrup apologized to Mariani's family.
"I can not give Mark his life back — I wish I could," Sturrup said.
Dino Mariani said it will take some time for everything to set in.
"Maybe it will take some time to understand it or fully appreciate what was said from everyone, from all parties. But right now it's just not, it's just not sinking in — it's not registering yet," Mariani said.