Italy’s highest court docket on Wednesday was listening to the ultimate enchantment of two U.S. residents convicted within the stabbing dying of a police officer throughout a plainclothes operation in Rome in the summertime of 2019.
Finnegan Lee Elder, now 23, and Gabriel Natale-Hjorth, now 22, had been convicted in May 2021 of slaying the 35-year-old officer, in addition to of tried extortion, resisting a public official and carrying an attack-style knife with out simply trigger.
The two males, who had been buddies again in northern California, had been sentenced to life, Italy’s most extreme penalty, within the preliminary trial. An appeals court docket final 12 months upheld the convictions, however lowered the sentences to 24 years for Elder and 22 years for Natale-Hjorth. The Italian system permits defendants yet one more enchantment to Italy’s supreme Cassation court docket.
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Their attorneys are arguing that there have been flaws within the prosecution’s reconstruction of occasions the night time Carabinieri Vice Brigadier Mario Cerceillo Rega was stabbed 11 instances close to the lodge the place the 2 U.S. vacationers had been staying.
They declare that Rega’s associate lied when he stated the police confirmed their badges indicating they had been regulation enforcement officers.
In the unique trial, the defendants testified that neither officer recognized themselves as police and so they that thought the Italians wearing informal summer time garments had been thugs.
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Elder testified that Cerciello Rega tried to strangle him and that he pulled out a knife he carried for his personal safety and repeatedly stabbed the officer to interrupt free.
Natale-Hjorth testified that he grappled with Cerciello Rega’s associate and was unaware of the stabbing when he ran again to the lodge.
In Italy, an confederate could be charged with homicide with out immediately collaborating in a slaying.
The plainclothes officers had been pursuing a reported extortion try allegedly concocted by the Americans after a botched bid to purchase cocaine a number of hours earlier in one other a part of Rome, the Trastevere nightlife district.
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