Italy appeals court upholds conviction of 2 Americans in death of policeman but reduces sentences

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Italian Appeals Court Upholds Convictions of American Men in Police Officer’s Killing, Reduces Sentences

An Italian appeals court has upheld the convictions of Finnegan Lee Elder and Gabriel Natale-Hjorth, two American men accused of killing Italian police officer Mario Cerciello Rega in a botched sting operation in 2019. However, the court significantly reduced their sentences, with Elder receiving 15 years and 2 months in prison, and Natale-Hjorth receiving 11 years and 4 months, plus a fine of 800 euros.

The families of Elder and Natale-Hjorth have accepted the new verdict, but the widow of the police officer has expressed disappointment

The original convictions were overturned by Italy’s highest court, leading to a new trial. The defendants’ families have accepted the new verdict, while the officer’s widow has expressed disappointment.

The incident occurred when the two American men, then teenagers, were on vacation in Rome and got caught up in a drug deal gone wrong, leading to a confrontation with police. The defendants claimed they didn’t know they were facing police officers, and the court acknowledged this doubt, reducing their sentences.

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