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US students found guilty of killing Italian policeman

Mario Cerciello Rega (35) was stabbed to death while he investigated a drug deal gone wrong in central Rome in 2019.

US students found guilty of killing Italian policeman

US students found guilty of killing Italian policeman photo credit: bbc.co.uk

Two US students have been found guilty of murdering a police officer in Italy, after a year-long trial.

Drug deal

Mario Cerciello Rega (35) was stabbed to death while he investigated a drug deal gone wrong in central Rome in 2019. At the time of his death, the officer had only just returned to duty after his honeymoon and his funeral took place in the same church he had been married in 43 days earlier.

California students Finnegan Lee Elder and Gabriel Christian Natale-Hjorth were both given life sentences for his murder.

Elder had admitted to stabbing Rega 11 times, claiming it was self-defense as hê believed the police officer was a criminal. Natale-Hjorth was convicted of helping him conceal the weapon. Under Italian law, accomplices can also be charged with murder.

Both were teenagers at the time of the incident.

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