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Italian jury deliberates destiny of two Individuals murdered by police

ROME (AP) – A jury in Rome started on Wednesday to deliberate on the destiny of two younger American males accused of killing an Italian policeman close to the resort the place they had been staying throughout their summer time trip in 2019.

Finnegan Lee Elder, 21, and Gabriel Natale-Hjorth, 20, had been charged with murder, tried extortion, assault, resisting a public official and carrying a non-attack kind knife. legitimate purpose.

Decide Marina Finiti mentioned the verdicts might come later Wednesday or Thursday.

Prosecutors alleged Elder stabbed Vice Bridgadier Mario Cerciello Rega 11 occasions with a knife he took with him on his journey to Europe from California and Natale-Hjorth helped him cover the knife of their resort room.

The homicide on July 26, 2019, of the officer of the Carabinieri paramilitary police pressure shocked Italy. Cerciello Rega, 35, was mourned as a nationwide hero.

The 2 Californians on trial had been allowed out of the steel-bar defendants’ cages contained in the courtroom to sit down with their attorneys earlier than the case went to the jury, which consists of the presiding choose Finiti, a second choose and 6 civilian jurors.

“I am stressed,” Elder informed considered one of his attorneys. At one other level throughout Wednesday’s transient listening to, Elder took a crucifix which he wears on a sequence round his neck and kissed it.

Cerciello Rega had lately returned from a honeymoon when he was posted with an undercover police companion, Constable Andrea Varriale, to observe up on a reported extortion try.

Prosecutors say the younger Individuals concocted a plot involving a stolen bag and mobile phone after their try to purchase 80 euros ($ 96) cocaine in Rome’s nightlife district of Trastevere was unsuccessful. Natale-Hjorth and Elder testified that they paid for the cocaine however didn’t obtain it.

The 2 defendants claimed to have acted in self-defense. Through the trial, which started on February 26, 2020, the Individuals informed the courtroom they believed Cerciello Rega and Varriale had been thugs or thugs able to assault them on a darkish, abandoned road. The police wore informal summer time garments, not uniforms, and the defendants insisted that the police by no means confirmed the police badges.

Below Italian legislation, an confederate in an alleged homicide will also be charged with homicide even with out having materially dedicated the homicide.

Varriale, who injured his again in a struggle with Natale-Hjorth whereas his companion grappled with Elder, mentioned officers recognized themselves as riflemen.

Prosecutor Maria Sabina Calabretta has requested the courtroom to convict the 2 defendants and impose on them probably the most extreme sentence in Italy, life imprisonment.

On the time of the homicide, Elder was 19 and was touring by Europe with out his household, whereas Natale-Hjorth, then 18, was spending the summer time holidays along with his Italian grandparents, who stay close to Rome. . Former classmates from the San Francisco Bay Space, the 2 had met in Rome for what had been presupposed to be two days of sightseeing and nightlife.

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