Prosecutor seeks life sentences for two Americans accused of killing an Italian police officer while on vacation in Rome

Otto I. Eovaldi
Gabriel Natale-Hjorth and Finnegan Lee Elder

Gabriel Natale-Hjorth, still left, and Finnegan Lee Elder, each from the United States, sit bars inside of the courtroom in Rome, Monday, March 1, 2021. Alberto Pizzoli/Pool Image by means of AP

  • Two US adult men are billed with murder in the stabbing of a law enforcement officer in Rome, Italy in 2019.

  • On Saturday, a prosecutor requested for each adult men to obtain life sentences.

  • The adult men said they acted in self-defense and that they did not know the man was a police officer.

  • Visit Insider’s homepage for extra tales.

An Italian prosecutor on Saturday asked for lifestyle sentences for two Individuals going through murder charges in the July 2019 killing of a law enforcement officer in Rome.

The Americans, Finnegan Lee Elder, 21, and Gabriel Natale-Hjorth, 20, have been accused of stabbing the officer, Mario Cerciello Rega, just after a botched drug sale. They were being 19 and 18 at the time of the killing.

Prosecutor Maria Sabina Calabretta reported the guys deserved the optimum possible sentence less than Italian regulation, declaring a “grave injustice” was “dedicated versus a superior man who was doing the job,” The New York Moments reported.

Elder admitted to stabbing the officer, although he said it was in self-protection, although Natale-Hjorth tussled with yet another officer. Police mentioned Cerciello, who was 35 and freshly married, was stabbed 11 instances with a 7-inch blade, Reuters reported.

The People, who are from California, reported they were being going to Rome when they tried out to invest in cocaine from a neighborhood supplier but ended up truly offered crushed aspirin. When they realized they experienced been fooled, they stole the backpack of the particular person that related them to the vendor, in an try to get their money back and true cocaine.

That man or woman, which Italian media has documented was a police informer, contacted the police about his stolen bag, Reuters described.

The two officers, who ended up not carrying uniforms, approached Elder and Natale-Hjorth in the vicinity of the hotel where they were being in the Prati neighborhood.

The Americans said they did not know the adult males ended up police officers, however, the other officer present denied this, saying he and Cerciello identified by themselves.

All through the trial, Elder reported he “panicked” and thought the officers were “thugs” sent to retrieve the pack, The Instances noted. He mentioned he believed Cerciello was going to get rid of him.

Natale-Hjorth to start with said he did not know Elder had introduced a knife, but police located his fingerprints on the ceiling of their hotel area where by the knife was concealed, Reuters claimed.

A verdict in the demo is expected in April.

Read the primary report on Insider

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