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Thread: Finnegan Lee Elder and Gabriel Christian Natale Hjorth, (19,19) accused of Killing Deputy Brigadier Mario Cerciello Rega

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    Finnegan Lee Elder and Gabriel Christian Natale Hjorth, (19,19) accused of Killing Deputy Brigadier Mario Cerciello Rega

    https://abcnews.go.com/International...ry?id=64602848

    Two American teenagers have confessed to fatally stabbing a police officer in Rome on Friday, according to authorities.

    Deputy Brigadier Mario Cerciello Rega was allegedly killed by the two American college students shortly after they had stolen a backpack from an Italian man and then tried to extort the victim for "100 euros and 1 gram of cocaine," according to a police statement.

    The Italian man agreed to pay the Americans after reporting the extortion attempt to police. The authorities attempted to arrest the Americans when they showed up for the exchange, but a scuffle broke out and Rega was stabbed and killed, Italian police said.

    Rega worked for the Carabinieri, Italy's paramilitary police corps, in Rome. A spokesman said the officer was dressed in plainclothes at the time of the stabbing.

    (MORE: Amanda Knox returns to Italy for 1st time since her acquittal)
    The two Americans, Finnegan Lee Elder and Gabriel Christian Natale Hjorth, both 19, and from San Francisco, were able to escape briefly, but investigators tracked them to their luxury hotel room and managed to detain them as they were planning to leave the country, authorities said.

    "The two, once in the barracks, were questioned by the Carabinieri, under the direction of the magistrates of the Public Prosecutor of Rome, faced with overwhelming evidence, they confessed," the Provincial Command of Rome said in a statement, translated from Italian.

    PHOTO: An Italian Carabiniere, paramilitary policeman, patrols near the site where his colleague, Carabiniere Vice Brigadier Mario Cerciello Rega was stabbed to death by a thief in Rome, Friday, July 26, 2019. Angelo Carconi/ANSA Via AP
    An Italian Carabiniere, paramilitary policeman, patrols near the site where his colleague, Carabiniere Vice Brigadier Mario Cerciello Rega was stabbed to death by a thief in Rome, Friday, July 26, 2019.more +
    Police said they searched the Americans' hotel room, and a knife "of considerable size" was found hidden in the ceiling along with the clothes believed to have been worn during the stabbing. Authorities said they captured the crimes on surveillance video.

    A decree of detention has been issued for the U.S. citizens for aggravated murder and attempted extortion, the Carabinieiri said.

    (MORE: EU court reaffirms their ruling that Amanda Knox's defense rights were violated)
    The two are being held at the Regina Coeli district jail in Rome.

    The pair were allegedly trying to buy drugs just before the stabbing, but were sold a fake substance, a spokesman from the Carabinieri's press office told ABC News. Authorities believe the man they stole the bag from was not involved in the drug deal, but may have told the Americans where they could purchase drugs before he was robbed of his bag, the spokesman said.

    PHOTO: A car of the Italian Carabinieri, paramilitary police, is parked near a blood stain, the site where Carabiniere Vice Brigadier Mario Cerciello Rega was stabbed to death by a thief in Rome, Friday, July 26, 2019. Angelo Carconi/ANSA Via AP
    A car of the Italian Carabinieri, paramilitary police, is parked near a blood stain, the site where Carabiniere Vice Brigadier Mario Cerciello Rega was stabbed to death by a thief in Rome, Friday, July 26, 2019.more +
    Early reports by Italian media that the Americans went to John Cabot University are not true, a school spokesperson told ABC News.

    Italian Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini posted a photo of Rega from his wedding last June on his Twitter account.

    Salvini had said before the official announcement of the teens' arrests and confessions that they would make the culprits "pay dearly," according to The Associated Press.

    ABC News' Kirit Radia contributed to this report.

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    https://patch.com/california/san-fra...er-italian-cop

    Two Americans from San Francisco have been arrested in connection with the murder of an Italian police officer in Rome, according to a news report from CNN.

    Italy's Carabinieri police force told CNN that the two 19-year-olds were arrested for "aggravated murder and attempted extortion." The officer, identified as Mario Cerciello Rega, 35, died after being stabbed eight times in the early morning hours of Friday, according to a statement from the Carabinieri.

    According to the CNN report, the two men had stolen a backpack from an Italian citizen and said they would return it for 100 euros and one gram of cocaine. The Italian contacted police and cops showed up to retrieve the backpack but when they identified themselves as officers, one of the men stabbed Rega, the report says.

    The men were identified by the Carabinieri as Christian Gabriel Natale Hjorth and Elder Finnegan Lee, CNN reports.

    Only one of them is accused of stabbing Rega but both men admitted to police to taking part in the altercation, according to the report.

    Rega was newly married and had celebrated his birthday just two weeks ago.

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    https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/t...aying-n1143341

    After months in a Rome jail, a pair of boyhood pals from California went on trial Wednesday, accused of murdering an Italian policeman during a summer vacation in Italy.

    The Carabinieri paramilitary officer, Deputy Brigadier Mario Cerciello Rega, was unarmed and on plainclothes assignment with his police partner when he was stabbed 11 times and left bleeding on a street near the Americans’ hotel in the early hours of July 26, 2019.

    Prosecutors have alleged that Finnegan Lee Elder, now 20, thrust an 18-centimeter (7-inch) attack-style knife repeatedly into the stocky police officer, while Gabriel Natale-Hjorth, now 19, scuffled nearby with the partner, Andrea Varriale, who was slightly injured.
    American teens arrested in murder of Italian officer accused each other
    July 29, 201902:05

    Under Italian law, accomplices to an alleged murderer can also be charged with the murder itself. In addition to the murder charge, both defendants are also charged with attempted extortion related to a drug deal gone bad, and resisting public officials.

    Both young men were in court on Wednesday, sitting near their lawyers with a pair of penitentiary police officers standing behind them. Elder's parents sat in the back row; the slain officer's widow sat in the second row.

    The first hearing was dealing largely with procedural matters.

    Both defendants have said they thought they were being attacked and acted in self-defense.

    Elder’s lawyers and family members have quoted the young man as saying that he had mistaken the two officers for a pair of common criminals out to assault the Americans and that he was fighting for his life.

    According to judicial documents from early in the case, Natale-Hjorth claimed he didn’t know his friend had the knife. Prosecutors contend that after the stabbing, Natale-Hjorth hid the knife behind a panel in the ceiling of the hotel room the young men were sharing.
    Both defendants have told Italian investigators they were swindled while trying to buy cocaine in Trastevere. Police and prosecutors have said after they handed over money, they grabbed the knapsack of the drug dealer’s intermediary. The go-between, apparently a Carabinieri informant, later called police to report that his bag with his cell phone was snatched.

    Prosecutors alleged that the intermediary called his own cell phone and set up a meeting near the Americans’ hotel to return the knapsack and complete the sale of a gram of cocaine.

    One apparent line of defense has been that the Americans believed that drug dealers had come to the rendezvous instead of the go-between, and didn’t realize that police had shown up to handle the matter.

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    Senior Member KimTisha's Avatar
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    Wait. So their defense is "Oops, we thought we were stabbing a drug dealer?!"
    You are talking to a woman who has laughed in the face of death, sneered at doom and chuckled at catastrophe.
    ...Collector of Chairs. Reader of Books. Hater of Nutmeg...

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    It was aliens raisedbywolves's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KimTisha View Post
    Wait. So their defense is "Oops, we thought we were stabbing a drug dealer?!"
    Pretty much.

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