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Man pleads guilty to theater manager's shooting death

Posted July 8, 2009
Updated July 9, 2009

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— A Wake Forest man accused of fatally shooting a movie theater manager last October will spend the rest of his life in prison after pleading guilty Wednesday to second-degree murder.

Raleigh police said Anthony Joseph Bimbo shot Mark Douglas Buhaug, 48, during a robbery at Marquee Cinemas, off Capital Boulevard in Raleigh, on Oct. 24. Buhaug died from a gunshot wound to the abdomen.

Bimbo fled the scene, and the next day, broke into a home, robbed a family at gunpoint and stole a minivan, authorities have said. New Jersey state troopers arrested him three days later at a rest stop north of Trenton, N.J.

During his plea Wednesday, he declined to make a statement and only mouthed to his mother, "I love you," as he left the courtroom.

Joane Russo said afterward that her son told her the shooting was an accident.

"He said that he went to put the gun down on the counter, and he says that the man said that he couldn't give him money," Russo said. "Tony said he wanted just to show him that he meant business, or something like that, but that the gun just went off."

Two other men – Jason Anthony Zilinski and Ryan Michael Becker – also face murder charges in the case. Zilinski worked at the theater and lived with Bimbo, whom neighbors said was his stepfather.

Court dates for them have not been scheduled.

Buhaug, a 25-year veteran of the theater, had managed the Marquee since August 2005, Originally from Dilworth, Minn., he had lived in Raleigh for about 10 years.

12 Comments

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  • james27613 Jul 8, 2009

    If it was a true accident, they he should have call police and perhaps the man could have survived. We know it was no accident.

    "He said that he went to put the gun down on the counter, and he says that the man said that he couldn't give him money," Russo said. "Tony said he wanted just to show him that he meant business, or something like that, but that the gun just went off."

  • M1911-A1 Jul 8, 2009

    "Not anymore. Since 1994 there has been no possible parole for anyone sentenced after that year. Life is life unless the sentence is commuted."

    Good, hope they stick to it.

  • WRALblows Jul 8, 2009

    "To bad he will not really spend the rest of his life in prison. He will probably be paroled in 20 years and be back out on the streets"

    Not anymore. Since 1994 there has been no possible parole for anyone sentenced after that year. Life is life unless the sentence is commuted.

  • kbo80 Jul 8, 2009

    I'm sure Zilinski will get more time that the actually murdered only because it makes since. There are so many criminals out here that should be locked up longer but, because of a silly jury and stupid judge made the wrong judgement. In this case they should have the same sentence and that be death.

  • csswisher Jul 8, 2009

    Glad to see something on the headline other than MJ!!! Let's let him RIP!

  • ccs1920 Jul 8, 2009

    This man deserves the same as he gave his victim. It's a shame that he won't receive it.

  • jas1022 Jul 8, 2009

    lmao...You cannot submit a comment with this guys name in it b/c it says it classifies it a 'bad word'.

  • sasuke Jul 8, 2009

    unfortunately citizen and bob are correct....it actually costs more for the needle than to keep him alive.

  • Thinkb4uspeak Jul 8, 2009

    HHHMMMM...Only six comments for a murdering robbing, kidnapper. I wonder why.

  • WRALblows Jul 8, 2009

    Sad but true that it's cheaper to keep him alive than kill him.

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