Two American tourists received life sentences for the murder of an Italian police officer in Rome, AMPE said.
Former students from San Francisco were found guilty of the brutal murder of 35-year-old police officer Mario Cerciello Regi in the area of the Rome hotel where they stayed in 2019. They received the harshest sentence – life imprisonment.
The incident took place in the early morning of July 26, 2019. During the investigation, 19-year-old Finnigan Lee Elder confessed to stabbing a policeman while his friend and compatriot, 18-year-old Gabriel Christian Nethel-Hjort, talked to the second law enforcement officer.
However, the arrested said that it was self-defense – they believed that the police officers in civilian clothes were representatives of a criminal group who wanted to catch them after trying to buy drugs.
The 35-year-old police officer was unarmed and died from 11 stab wounds from an 18-centimeter assault knife brought in from the United States. According to AMPE, the murder of Mario Cerciello Regi, who has just married, shocked Italy. Many skeptics doubted that the perpetrators would receive the punishment they deserve. Although, in addition to murder, they were charged with: extortion attempt, resistance to a government official, assault, illegal possession of an assault knife.
The court, having examined all the circumstances of the case, passed the harshest sentence – life imprisonment. The Italian Criminal Code states that prisoners who have received such a term have the right to apply for release only after 21 years, and even then, subject to exemplary behavior and a good reputation. Hearing the verdict, the wife of the deceased policeman who was present in the courtroom burst into tears.
The convicts’ lawyers have already announced that they will appeal against this decision.