Italy:Two American Teens Accused of Murdering a Cop

Two American teens from California are being held in an Italian jail, accused of murdering a police officer in Rome.

18-year-olds Gabriel Christian Natale-Hjorth and Finnegan Lee Elder of Mill Valley, California are accused in the stabbing death of a plainclothes officer in a possible drug deal gone bad. The victim, 35-year-old Mario Cerciello Rega, was laid to rest today following a procession which drew a crowd of hundreds. His funeral was held at the same church he was married in just last month.

Investigators say the teens stole backpack from someone and got into a fight with two officers who approached them. That’s when one of the teens pulled out a knife and stabbed Rega multiple times. A surveillance video appears to show the teens running away from the scene. Both are being held without bail and could face life in prison if they’re convicted.

photo tweeted on Sunday by Italy’s Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini shows one of the teens in the police station handcuffed and blindfolded before he was even questioned about the crime, which is illegal.

Hot Takes:

  • What the heck were these two kids thinking?
  • The Italian justice system is much different than in the U.S. There is no such thing as bail and it appears these kids may very well spend the rest of their lives behind bars there.
  • People around the world have expressed outrage over the photo showing the blindfolded teen.