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US students jailed for life for the murder of Italian police officers in a drug trafficking process
Two young Americans were sentenced to life imprisonment by a court in Rome after they were found guilty of stabbing an Italian police officer to death and assaulting another officer in an altercation sparked by a drug trafficking failure. Finnegan Lee Elder, 21, had admitted stabbing the officer to death after a night in the capital while his friend Gabriel Natale-Hjorth, now 20, injured a second officer during the fracas. They insisted they defended themselves because they believed the two plainclothes officers were actually thugs who attacked them after the botched drug deal. However, this justification was rejected by the jury in the process, which made its decision on Wednesday around midnight after hours of deliberation. Her attorneys immediately announced that they would appeal the verdict and verdict to pave the way for a lawsuit that could drag on for years, as was the case for another American woman who was murdered in Italy was accused – Amanda Knox. Defendants in Italy have two levels of appeal, which means that such cases can last for many years. The two young men, both from California, were also found guilty of attempted blackmail, assault, resisting an officer, and carrying a knife for no good reason. The murder of police officers in Italy is extremely rare. The murder of Mario Cerciello Rega, a 35-year-old vice brigadier in the Carabinieri who had just returned from his honeymoon, shocked many Italians and sparked national grief. The officer was hailed as a tragic hero and his funeral was televised live. His colleague, police officer Andrea Varriale, was injured in the confrontation.