Robert Reitmeier gets life for beating Calgarian to death

Self-proclaimed white supremacist Robert Reitmeier has been sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 13 years in the 2010 beating death of a Calgary man.

Neo-Nazi has no chance of parole for 13 years

The family of Mark Mariani, who was beaten to death in 2010, says they can now move ahead. 1:58

Self-proclaimed white supremacist Robert Reitmeier has been sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 13 years in the 2010 beating death of a Calgary man.

Mark Mariani, 47, was beaten in an alley behind a strip mall in northwest Calgary before collapsing by his vehicle in a nearby parking lot in October 2010.

Robert David Reitmeier, who has ties to neo-Nazi groups, was found guilty of second-degree murder in November. (Courtesy of Calgary Herald)

Reitmeier was found guilty of second-degree murder in November.

His friend, Tyler Sturrup, is already serving a life sentence with no parole for 10 years after pleading guilty in March.

During the trial, the jury heard intercepted phone calls between Reitmeier and Sturrup where they discussed concerns about police and media attention on the crime.

The court also viewed surveillance footage from nearby stores that shows a woman and two men entering and exiting a business near the crime scene the morning Mariani was killed. A Calgary detective identified the men as Reitmeier and Sturrup. 

The Crown argued during the trial that Mariani was the victim of a seemingly random, unprovoked attack who was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Family hopes to move on

The fact that there was no motive and the 47-year-old had struggled with Crohn's disease were aggravating factors in the final sentence.

Mark Mariani was beaten to death in an alley in 2010. The Crown says he was in the wrong place at the wrong time when he met the men who killed him. (Handout)

Mariani's family said they may never know why he died, but the sentence brought some relief.

More than a dozen family members came to court each day of the trial and had to hear about the horrific details of Mariani's final moments.

"It's like another stab to the heart..., every day we had to sit here and listen to it," said Mark's sister Kathy Weltzin.

Reitmeier's lawyer hasn't said whether or not an appeal will be filed, but the family is hoping to move ahead.

"We can't put anymore of our energy and our love towards this. This is over," said Mark's brother Dino Mariani.

The family says now is the time to celebrate his life and they are thinking of starting a foundation in his name.

"We don't have this darkness hanging over us anymore ... and now we can celebrate his happy smile," said Weltzin.