Luca Traini, an Italian neo-Nazi sympathizer who wounded six African migrants in a drive-by shooting earlier this year, was sentenced to 12 years imprisonment on Wednesday.
A court in Macerata, the central Italian town where the crime took place, found the 29-year-old guilty of attempted massacre aggravated by racist motives and illegal possession of a weapon, according to the ANSA news agency.
On February 3, the 29-year-old Traini drove around Macerata shooting at black people, in what he said was an act of revenge for the murder of a local 18-year-old female heroin addict. A Nigerian drug dealer has been accused of the woman's murder.
Traini is an unemployed body builder, with a neo-Nazi tattoo on his forehead. At the end of his rampage, police arrested him on the steps of a military monument, where he stood draped in the Italian flag, holding up his arm in a Fascist salute.
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Wednesday's first instance ruling, which can be appealed, was in line with what the prosecution had asked for. Traini opted for a fast-track trial, which allows for more lenient sentencing.
In a statement before the court retired to deliberate, Traini said he was not mentally unstable, and denied any racist intent. "They tell me I am crazy or borderline, but I just had a difficult childhood," he said according to ANSA.
The Macerata shootings influenced the national debate on migration during the campaign leading up to the March 4 general elections, resulting in the formation of a populist, anti-immigration government comprising the nationalist League and the anti-establishment Five Star Movement.